Bangladesh asks Myanmar to clear all hurdles for Rohingya repatriation to begin

Bangladesh has renewed calls for an early start of repatriation of the Rohingya refugees and urged Myanmar to remove all barriers preventing commencement of their return.

Published : 3 May 2019, 04:09 PM
Updated : 3 May 2019, 07:49 PM

The request was made at the fourth meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the repatriation of displaced Myanmar residents from Bangladesh to Myanmar held in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday.

Secretary (Asia & Pacific) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mahbub Uz Zaman led Bangladesh side while U Myint Thu, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, led the other side.

Both sides agreed to speed up verification process, the foreign ministry said.

The JWG held substantive discussion on all issues related to safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar residents to their homeland.

The Bangladesh delegation emphasised  concrete steps for creating a conducive environment in Rakhine State to facilitate the return.

Bangladesh particularly emphasised removing legal and administrative barriers to ensure basic rights of the returnees including freedom of movement, guaranteeing their safety and security, and positive steps towards a well-defined time-bound pathway to citizenship that would encourage the Myanmar residents to return voluntarily.

Referring to the dispute on eligibility of more than two thousand prospective returnees from the first batch of verification, Bangladesh proposed to host the first meeting of the dispute settlement mechanism soon, to which Myanmar agreed.

Bangladesh highlighted the need for a deeper engagement between Myanmar authorities and prospective returnees to convince and motivate them.

Dhaka proposed visit of Myanmar delegations to Cox’s Bazar to directly engage with the displaced Myanmar residents sheltered there.

Bangladesh also highlighted the need for allowing greater engagement of international community including ASEAN and interested partners in improving ground situation in the Rakhine State and proposed appropriate mechanism for coordination of actions among those actors to create greater confidence.

It also emphasised the need for sharing verifiable information on ground situation in Rakhine so that prospective returnees can take informed decision.