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Myanmar clears list of 8,000 Rohingyas sent by Bangladesh

  • Published at 10:48 pm October 15th, 2018
File photo of Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh will seek updates on what steps are taken for the safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh

The first group of 8,000 Rohingyas refugees will be repatriated soon as Myanmar has cleared the list sent by Bangladesh for verification of their villages of origin after last year’s deal.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said a Myanmar government team led by its foreign secretary will come to Bangladesh at the end of this month for a joint working group (JWG) meeting in Dhaka to discuss the Rohingya repatriation issue.

Members of JWG from Myanmar will also visit Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar district. 

Mahmood Ali, at a press conference held to discuss Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming Saudi Arabia visit, said: "We have completed the village-wise verification of 8,000 Rohingyas to know their origin in Myanmar and make sure that they can start living in houses in their own villages."

Bangladesh will seek updates on what steps are taken for the safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh. 

Late last year, Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed to start repatriating the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled northern Rakhine State since late 2016. 

Bangladesh wants to make sure that the Rohingyas who are expected to return to Myanmar in the first batch of repatriation will have houses and other facilities to live in their own villages, reports UNB. 

India has already built 250 houses while China is in process of building 1,000 more. "The returnees will first stay at reception centres in Myanmar and then will go to their villages,” the foreign minister said. 

Myanmar has so far failed to take measures to ensure the safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the 73rd UN General Assembly made three recommendations for solving the Rohingya crisis at its root, including the abolition of discriminatory laws, policies and practices of Myanmar against the minority group. 

Myanmar must create an acceptable environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, it should create a "safe zone" inside the country to protect all civilians, the prime minister said in her second recommendation. 

Her third recommendation said atrocious crimes against Rohingyas in Myanmar should be prevented by bringing accountability and justice, particularly in the light of recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council. 

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali emphasized the need for accelerating efforts to create a conducive environment in northern Rakhine State and build houses and villages for the returnees to facilitate repatriation. 

Minister Ali along with JWG members visited the northern Rakhine State in August this year and saw the trail of widespread devastation suffered by people there, said the Foreign Ministry officials. 

He also visited Shwe Zar village where around 148 prefabricated houses for returnees are being built with assistance from the government of India.

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