Show 'progress in Rakhine' before Rohingya repatriation

Show ‘progress in Rakhine’ before Rohingya repatriation

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Dhaka, Jan 22 – Five of Myanmar’s neighbors including Bangladesh are eager to see the progress made so far on the ground in the Rakhine Sate as Myanmar and Bangladesh are now at final stage of starting Rohingya repatriation.Bangladesh Ambassador to Yangon, along with envoys of four countries bordering Myanmar – China, India, Thailand and Laos, visited northern Rakhine couple of months ago from where thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled and took shelter in Cox’s Bazar district due to the atrocities orchestrated by security forces.
“Bangladesh wants to see that Myanmar invites them again to see the progress,” an official said.
He said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali is also likely to visit the place after envoys of the five countries.
Minister Ali briefed the diplomatic corps on Sunday on the recent developments on the issue of return of displaced Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar through bilateral arrangement of return signed between the two countries on November 23 and the subsequent agreements towards the implementation of the arrangement.
After the briefing, the Foreign Minister told reporters that he suggested involving the European Union so that Ambassadors of the EU countries in Myanmar can see the progress in the Rakhine State.
“We express our deep gratitude to the members of the diplomatic community for their unremitting support in handling the Rohingya influx. We want to see that they remain engaged to make the repatriation sustainable,” another official said.
He said the Foreign Minister urged the diplomats to continue their engagement with Myanmar for effective implementation of the return arrangements.
The Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports said they will provide healthcare services at camps that will start scrutinising and accepting displaced persons, under an agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh,
Quoting Director General of Myanmar Public Health Department Dr Tha Tun Kyaw, Myanmar Information Ministry said the ministry had already finalised its healthcare programme that will be provided at the repatriation camps.
Currently, there are two repatriation camps – Taungpyoletwe camp and Ngakhuya camp. The immigration department is currently adopting repatriation procedures, while the health sector has already formed 11-member teams led by a doctor.
The Hla Poe Khuang camp, which will accept returnees transferred from the two repatriation camps, already has 12-member health teams led by a doctor.
Convener of technical committee on repatriation and Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Repatriation Commissioner M Abul Kalam Rohingya said repatriation will take more time to start as preparatory works are yet to finish though Myanmar side says repatriation begins on Tuesday, reports UNB Cox’s Bazar correspondent.
“Rohingya repatriation will take place. It’s possible to start at any time once urgent works related to repatriation are finished,” he said.
He said the repatriation of Rohingyas can no way begin from Tuesday as there are many tasks to accomplish. “Meanwhile, it’s not such a task that can start immediately.”
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali in Dhaka also said he will not tell any date but the repatriation process has already started with the signing of physical arrangement.
On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’ which will facilitate return of Rohingays to their homeland from Bangladesh.
The ‘Physical Arrangement’ stipulates that the repatriation would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation.
Foreign Ministry officials in Dhaka said verification and return of Rohingyas will be based on considering the family as a unit and Bangladesh and Myanmar also finalised the ‘form’ for verification.
The modalities for the repatriation of orphans and children born out of unwarranted incidence have been incorporated in the said arrangement.
“The verification form will be distributed among all Rohingya families. The forms will be then handed over to Myanmar authority for scrutiny. Myanmar will send back the forms to Bangladesh after scrutiny,” an official told UNB indicating that the full-scale repatriation might take some time.
Each Rohingya family members will have to provide a number of information including names, gender, birthplace, name of mother and father, date of birth, address in Myanmar, profession, signs, number of family members and a group family photo.
Under the ‘Physical Arrangement’ Bangladesh will establish five transit camps from which returnees would be received initially in two reception centers on Myanmar side.
Myanmar will shelter the returnees in a temporary accommodation at the Hla Pho Khung and expeditiously rebuild the houses for the returnees to move in there. – UNB

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