Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to complete Rohingya repatriation in 2 years 

Bangladesh and Myanmar have signed the text of the Physical Arrangement stipulating that the Rohingya return would be completed "preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation".

Published : 16 Jan 2018, 06:45 AM
Updated : 16 Jan 2018, 02:17 PM

Verification and repatriation will be based on considering the family as a unit, the foreign ministry said after the first meeting of the Joint Working Group held in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday and Tuesday on the return of Rohingyas displaced from Rakhine.

Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation while Permanent Secretary Myint Thu led the Myanmar side.

The two sides, in atmosphere of "cordiality" discussed and signed the text of the Physical Arrangement which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas from Bangladesh, guided by the earlier understanding and principles.

This followed the unprecedented exodus of Rohingyas from Rakhine State since August 25 last year. More than one million people of those ethnic Muslims have taken shelter in Bangladesh.

The meeting also finalised the “form” for verification. Modalities for repatriation of orphans and children born out of unwarranted incidents have been incorporated in the arrangement.

Under the Physical Arrangement, Bangladesh would establish five transit camps from which returnees would be received initially in two reception centres on the Myanmar side.

Myanmar would shelter the returnees in a temporary accommodation at the Hla Pho Khung and expeditiously rebuild the houses for the returnees to move in there.

Myanmar would consider resettling the people staying at the zero line on a priority basis.

Myanmar has reiterated its pledge to stop the outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh.

Both countries agreed to form two technical working groups, one on verification and the other on return.