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Foreign minister: Diplomacy on to resolve Rohingya crisis

  • Published at 09:31 pm February 4th, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:49 pm February 4th, 2018
Foreign minister: Diplomacy on to resolve Rohingya crisis
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday told parliament that the government was continuing its strong bilateral and multilateral diplomacy to have a peaceful and permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. He said the Rohingya issue was discussed in the UN Security Council several times following continued diplomatic efforts of the government. The foreign minister, while replying to starred questions in the House, said Myanmar took initiatives to discuss with Bangladesh bilaterally to start the repatriation process of Rohingyas amid intense pressure. He said Bangladesh signed 'Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State' with Myanmar on November 23 last year. Since late August, more than 688,000 Rohingyas, among them 58% children, have arrived in Cox's Bazar alone, marking the largest mass refugee movement in the region in decades. On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on 'Physical Arrangement' which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland. The 'Physical Arrangement' stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start of repatriation. Unicef, earlier, commended the bilateral Rohingya repatriation deal but underscored that situation in Rakhine is not conducive yet to start it. "That is the right things to do (repatriation deal) and Bangladesh should be commended for that. But violence is still continuing," Unicef Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth told reporters recently. He laid emphasis on redoubling efforts before monsoon with solid and comprehensive works to save lives in camps here as well as addressing security concerns in the Rakhine. "We need to redouble our efforts." Forsyth said it will be 'premature' to send back these traumatised children at this moment seeking steps to improve situation in Rakhine. Foreign Ministry officials in Dhaka said the verification and return of Rohingyas will be based on considering the family as a unit and Bangladesh and Myanmar also finalised the 'form' for verification. The verification form will be distributed among all Rohingya families. The forms will then be handed over to Myanmar authorities for scrutiny. Myanmar will send back the forms to Bangladesh after the scrutiny. Each Rohingya family members will have to provide a number of information, including names, gender, birthplace, name of mother and father, date of birth, address in Myanmar, profession, signs, number of family members and a group family photo.