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International News

Jan 19, 2021

Bangladesh urges Myanmar to expedite verification process for Rohingya repatriation

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Bangladesh has urged Myanmar to expedite the verification of Rohingyas to facilitate their repatriation to the Rakhine province.

Bangladesh has handed over a list of 8 lakh 40 thousand Rohingya refugees to Myanmar but it has verified only about 42,000 biometric data of the Rohingyas. 

Briefing media after the virtual tripartite meeting between Bangladesh, Myanmar and China on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen said that both Myanmar and China have responded positively to Dhaka’s proposal of keeping presence of international community including UN, India, Japan and ASEAN in the process of Rohingya repatriation to Rakhine province. He expressed the hope that the international community will play a constructive role in resolving the Rohingya issue.

Calling the outcome of the tripartite meeting ‘cautiously optimistic’, Foregin Secretary Momen said that Bangladesh wanted the repatriation to start in the first quarter of the year but Myanmar said it needed more time for logistical arrangements and the process can start in the second quarter of the year.

Bangladesh proposed to start the repatriation process on a village by village basis or cluster of villages basis so that Rohingyas could feel confident  to return back home. But Myanmar said it would prefer to start repatriation only with verified Rohingyas, reports the official news agency BSS. 

Foreign Secretary Momen said that Bangladesh favours voluntary return of Rohingyas which would be possible only if Myanmar ensures a safe and secure environment for the return of the refugees to their home. 

Talking about the roadmap of repatriation of Rohingyas, Foreign Secretary Momen said that the next working group meeting between Bangladesh, Myanmar and China will take place in February followed by a tripartite meeting at the Foreign Secretary level in the same month. The Ministerial tripartite meeting will be held in  March or April to resolve the remaining issues. 

The first tripartite meeting among the foreign ministers of Bangladesh, China and Myanmar was held in New York in 2019. The last official level tripartite meeting was held in January last year.

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