Myanmar home minister tells Bangladesh president it is ‘ready’ to take back Rohingyas

Myanmar Home Minister Kyaw Swe has said his country is prepared to gradually take back the Rohingya people from Bangladesh.

Published : 15 Feb 2018, 05:55 PM
Updated : 15 Feb 2018, 05:55 PM

He made the remarks at a meeting with President Md Abdul Hamid at the Bangabhaban in Dhaka on Thursday, the President’s Press Secretary Joynal Abedin told the media.

Swe told the president his country is ready to start the repatriation of the Rohingyas and has set up a camp in line with the arrangement agreed by the two countries last month, according to Joynal.

“He (Swe) also said his government will implement the recommendations by the Kofi Annan Commission gradually,” the president’s press secretary said.

Over a million Rohingya Muslims have taken refuge in Bangladesh from violent persecution in Rakhine State.

Around 700,000 of them crossed the border after the Myanmar Army launched an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas on Aug 25 last year following insurgent attacks on security forces in Rakhine.

“The forcefully displaced Rohingya nationals of Myanmar are a major problem for Bangladesh,” Joynal quoted President Hamid as saying in the meeting.

The president urged the Myanmar government to take steps for safe and dignified return of the refugees.

He said the Myanmar government should emphasise gaining trust of the Rohingya people by creating a favourable atmosphere for them in the country.

He also hoped the Myanmar government would take steps to rehabilitate the refuges and return their lands.

The two countries formed a joint panel to repatriate the recently arrived Rohingyas following an agreement signed last year.

The panel agreed the ‘arrangement on return of the displaced people’ from Rakhine on Jan 16.

The repatriation was also scheduled to start in January, but Bangladesh delayed it, citing safety concerns for the refugees.   

On Wednesday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said he would discuss ways to take the process forward with his Myanmar counterpart.

Kamal was also present when Swe called on the president.