Rohingyas discouraged to return despite BD, Myanmar’s readiness: FM
Published : Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 at 6:17 PM Count : 147
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said both Bangladesh and Myanmar are “fully ready” to resume the repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland but some Rohingya leaders and NGOs are reportedly discouraging them to return.
“We’ve heard some Rohingya leaders emerged there. They don’t want the return of any Rohingya (to their homeland). They’re trying to stop returnees. Some INGOs and NGOs are instigating them (Rohingyas),” he told a small group of reporters at his office in the afternoon.
He said Bangladesh wants to see Rohingyas’ return to Rakhine State as soon as possible. The two countries are trying to resume the repatriation in a small scale from Thursday, reports UNB.
“We want the safe and secure return of the Rohingya and free mobility in their own region. Myanmar has agreed on that,” Dr Momen said adding that many Rohingyas are willing to go back.
The Foreign Minister mentioned that Rohingyas are looking for mainly citizenship and they, as per their demand, will not go until the citizenship is given.
“Myanmar is saying it’s a process,” Dr Momen said adding that Rohingyas will get cards after their return and then they have a process of getting citizenship.
On July 29, Bangladesh handed a fresh list of 25,000 Rohingyas from around 6,000 families to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation to Rakhine State.
With the latest list, Bangladesh has so far handed the names of around 55,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities and around 8,000 of them have been verified.
Dr Momen said Myanmar only cleared 3,450 Rohingyas for beginning repatriation. “We want them to go back as soon as possible.”
He said peace in the region will be hampered if their stay becomes longer in Bangladesh. Peace in the region depends on peaceful resolution of Rohingya problem, Dr Momen added.
Responding to a question, Dr Momen said China is very much involved in it and is helping Bangladesh convince Myanmar to take back their nationals.
Earlier in the day, he discussed the Rohingya repatriation issue with visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar at a bilateral meeting.
On Rohingya issue, Jaishankar said they agreed that the “safe, speedy and sustainable” return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine is in the national interest of the three countries -- Bangladesh, Myanmar and India.
“We reaffirmed our readiness to provide more assistance for the displaced persons in Bangladesh and to improve socioeconomic condition in Rakhine State,” he said.
The Indian minister appreciated the humanitarian gesture of Bangladesh in supporting a large number of displaced people from Rakhine and assured India’s continued support for their safe, speedy and sustainable return to Myanmar.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country since August 25, 2017. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.
On January 16, 2018 Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to 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.
The first batch of Rohingyas was scheduled to return on November 15 last year but it was halted amid unwillingness of Rohingyas to go back for lack of a congenial environment in Rakhine.