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BD, Myanmar getting ready for Rohingya repatriation

Published : Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1182

The government has prepared two transit camps at Keruntali and Ghumdhum points in the bordering areas between Bangladesh and Myanmar to start the much-awaited repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
Myanmar is also gearing up to take back more than 2,260 Rohingya Muslim and Hindu refugees who fled to Bangladesh during a military crackdown in Rakhine state under a bilateral repatriation deal between the two countries.
"Two reception centres at Taung Pho Letwe and Nga Khu Ya  villages in northern Rakhine's Maungdaw district will receive the Rohingyas," Soe Han, director general of the ASEAN Affairs Department at Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, according to the media report.
Meanwhile, the officials of national task force for Rohingya repatriation sat on Monday at the Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner at Cox's Bazar to check the final list at the last moment as both the government are trying to start the repatriation on August 22.
Following the meeting, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Abul Kalam said, "We are yet to get the final directives in this regard. However, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has handed over a list of 3,300 Rohingyas."
"Although the Myanmar authority has handed over a list of 3300 people but the Hindu refugees will take back first, In February 2019, eight of the 38 Buddhist families from Myanmar have returned in the same way," an official said.
During a visit to Bangladesh at the beginning of November to discuss the repatriation program and to meet Rohingya and Hindus from Myanmar who are living in refugee camps, Myint Thu, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pledged to begin the returns by mid-month.
 According to official estimates, at least 523 people belonging to 165 Hindu families have entered Bangladesh since August last.
The Hindu Rohingya families live at a 'Hindu Camp', located just outside Camp 1, the first of 27 refugee settlements that make up the Kutupalong-Balukhali camps.
Over 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims live here after being forced to flee Myanmar following the brutal campaign of violence by the Myanmar army that began on August 26, 2017.
 "Bangladesh claimed that Hindu or Buddhists are not Rohingya, the Myanmar government did not accept the Rohingyas Muslim as an ethnic group, so we want to see Myanmar is taking back more numbers of Rohingyas from Bangladesh," a senior official said.
Over 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims live here after being forced to flee Myanmar following the brutal campaign of violence by the Myanmar army that began on August 26, 2017.
Meanwhile, task force official said "The repatriation will begin soon if the Rohingyas agree to return to their homeland."
Bangladesh originally sent Myanmar a list of names of 8,032 refugees, of whom Myanmar government officials verified about 6,000 as eligible to return.
The estimated 2,260 Rohingya refugees who will return in the first group are among the 6,000 verified refugees.

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