Myanmar team visits Teknaf for repatriation talks with Rohingya

The Myanmar team will scrutinise the list of Rohingya sent by Bangladesh for repatriation

Cox’s Bazar CorrespondentTeknaf
Published : 25 May 2023, 10:25 AM
Updated : 25 May 2023, 10:25 AM

A team from Myanmar has arrived at the Rohingya refugee camp in Teknaf for the second time to discuss with potential candidates for a pilot repatriation project.

The 14-member delegation reached Bangladesh via a transit jetty at Jaliyapara around 9:30 am on Thursday, said Shamsud Douza Nayan, an additional refugee relief and repatriation commissioner.

Two representatives of the Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka are accompanying the delegation, said RRRC Shamsu Douza. They will take part in the meeting with the Rohingya. The Myanmar team will scrutinise the list of Rohingya sent by Bangladesh for repatriation, he said.

The delegation is likely to leave for Myanmar on Thursday evening.

During the team's visit, many of the refugees demanded safe and permanent repatriation, said Abu Sufian, a Rohingya leader.

Earlier on Mar 15, a Myanmar delegation visited the Rohingya refugee camp and left after verifying 500 potential returnees.

On May 5, a team of 27, including 20 Rohingya, visited Myanmar as part of an effort to encourage their voluntary repatriation. While the Rohingya voiced frustration over the condition in Rakhine, Bangladesh government representatives expressed contentment about it.

Nearly one million Rohingya Muslims are living in camps in the Bangladeshi border district of Cox's Bazar, most after fleeing from a military-led crackdown in Buddhist-majority Myanmar in 2017.

The World Court in July 2022 rejected Myanmar's objections to a genocide case over its treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority, paving the way for the case to be heard in full.

A separate UN fact-finding mission concluded that the 2017 military campaign by Myanmar that drove 730,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh had included "genocidal acts".

Bangladeshi officials have made several trips to Myanmar as part of efforts to get repatriation going, this was the first by Rohingya refugees since 2017.

Attempts to get repatriation going in 2018 and 2019 failed as the refugees, fearing violence, refused to go back to Myanmar, now ruled by a military junta that seized power in 2021.