Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – Bangladesh has handed over a new list of around 50,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen came up with the figure while talking to a small group of reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He said there are many stages of preparing a list and they are now expediting the process to facilitate the verification and repatriation process.
With this, Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities with the previous number being 55,000.
On July 29, Bangladesh handed over a list of 25,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on them.
On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
The “Physical Arrangement” stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start.
There were two attempts of Rohingya repatriation on November 15 last year and this year but those turned unsuccessful as Myanmar authorities “failed to build confidence” among Rohingyas and their unwillingness to return for lack of a congenial environment in Rakhine.
On September 23 in New York, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar agreed to form a “tripartite joint working mechanism” to evaluate the situation on the ground for Rohingya repatriation.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen had a joint meeting with his Chinese and Myanmar counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and discussed the issue.
The first meeting of the tripartite working body is scheduled to be held this month.
Asked about the meeting, Dr Momen said the meeting will be held but did not give any specific date. “It’ll be held. A process is going on.”
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming recently said China stands ready to “mediate and promote” Rohingya repatriation in an “active manner” to help find a solution as soon as possible.
“As a Chinese saying goes, neighbours are just like family members who stand by each other. If the two neighbours and friends are in need of help, China won’t shy away from it,” he said.