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Myanmar agrees to take back Rohingya refugees

Myanmar agrees to take back Rohingya refugees

Dhaka Office, 02 Oct, Update, London, 10:01


Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to form a joint working group to start the repatriation process of all the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh.

“It’ll soon be formed and I’m hopeful (about a solution),” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told reporters on Monday  afternoon.

He, however, said the composition of the joint working group will be finalised later.

Bangladesh has also proposed a bilateral agreement with Myanmar to facilitate the repatriation process. A draft of the proposed deal has also been handed over to Myanmar side in the meeting.

The Foreign Minister said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan will soon visit Myanmar which will help take forward the negotiations with Myanmar.

He said some instruments on better border management are likely to be signed during the visit.

“We’re looking forward to see a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis,” he said.

At the meeting, Bangladesh has reiterated its position over the Rohingya issue, and urged Myanmar to take steps for the sustainable return of all the Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar who are currently living here, said a diplomatic source.

Earlier, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali had a lengthy meeting with visiting Minister of the Office of State Counselor Kyaw Tint Swe at state guesthouse Padma and discussed the issues in details.

Bangladesh Home Minister and State Minister for Foreign Minister for Foreign M Shahriar Alam also attended the meeting that started at 11am.

Amid the growing pressure on Myanmar, its de facto leader State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi sent her representative to discuss the Rohingya issue with the Bangladesh government.

Minister Kyaw Tint Swe arrived at Shahjalal international Airport by a Thai Airways flight around 1:5 am on Monday and will leave Dhaka on Monday night after his very brief visit.

The Myanmar minister desired to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina but the Prime Minister is scheduled to return home on October 7.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday said Bangladesh itself is currently facing a severe crisis due to the influx of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals which made the problem a multidimensional one.

“The protracted presence of these forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in our country is creating a multidimensional problem for us,” he said while addressing the opening ceremony of preparatory meeting on Smart Pledges at Radisson Blu Hotel in the city.

He said international peace and security are facing many new challenges.

“In addition to poverty and conflicts, other emerging global issues such as climate change and natural disasters, outbreaks of new diseases, discrimination and persecutions, displacements — all these are posing new threats to the humanity.”

Since August 25, more than half a million Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh to flee ethnic cleansing in their own country.

Despite space and resource constraint, Bangladesh has given them shelter solely on humanitarian consideration. “In fact, even before the current influx began, we have been hosting nearly 400,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar for three decades,” Minister Ali said.

He said Bangladesh believes in peaceful settlement of international dispute. Accordingly, he said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has presented her five-point proposal in the UN General Assembly.

“In line with that we would like to peacefully resolve this issue at the earliest possible,” Ali said

Among the new arrivals, an estimated 55,770 pregnant and lactating women, and children under 5, require targeted food assistance.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque earlier said Bangladesh keeps the open to discuss and resolve the Rohingya issue bilaterally apart from discussing it in international forums.

Some 507,000 new arrivals of Myanmar’s fleeing Rohingya population are reported as of September 30, including 453,300 new arrivals identified in IOM’s Needs and Population Monitoring assessments in four upazilas of Cox’s Bazar district, says a new report on Sunday.

The latest figure includes 35,000 in refugee camps reported by UNHCR and 18,700 reported by field staff in Naikhongchhari (Bandarban district).

Over the last two days, movement across the border in Cox’s Bazar has reportedly decreased again, according to the report ‘Situation Report: Rohingya Crisis’.

The Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), convened by the IOM, in collaboration with humanitarian partners prepared the report that covered September 21-27.

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