‘Physical Agreement’; Bangladesh and Myanmar aims to resettle Rohingyas in 2 years
Naypyidaw [Myanmar], Jan 16: Bangladesh and Myanmar on Tuesday have finalized an agreement, which will facilitate the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.
The agreement title ‘Physical Agreement’ says that the repatriation would be completed within two years, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
The agreement was reached during the meeting of a Joint Working Group (JWG) between the two countries in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
The Bangladeshi delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, while Permanent Secretary Myint Thu led the Myanmar side.
“The agreement is guided by the earlier understanding and principles signed “Arrangement on the return of the displaced persons from Rakhine State” and the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the JWG”, said Haque in a statement.
Under the agreement, Bangladesh would establish five transit camps from which the Rohingyas would be received from the Myanmar side for repatriation.
On the other hand, Myanmar would shelter the Rohingyas in a temporary accommodation for now at Hla Pho Khung and re-build new houses in Rakhine State for them.
Besides, the two countries have also finalised the form for verification of all the Rohingyas.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Sufiur Rahman said, “We have signed a very positive treaty. After several discussions, Myanmar has agreed to complete the repatriation process preferably within two years from the day it commences. Modalities for repatriation of orphans and children born out of unwarranted incidence have been incorporated in the arrangement.”
During the meeting, Bangladesh had proposed to repatriate at least 15,000 Rohingyas every week but Myanmar rejected the proposal.
“They [Myanmar] have taken some preparations for the Rohingyas. They have agreed to take back 300 Rohingyas per day. Some 1,500 Rohingyas will be sent back in a week,” said Rahman.
Bangladesh has also expressed their interest that Myanmar would ensure the Rohingyas do not enter the country again.
Also, Myanmar agreed to repatriate at least 7,000 Rohingyas who are stuck near the border areas.
Rohingyas are a Muslim minority ethnic group in Myanmar. They have been regarded by many majority Buddhists as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
Also, they have been long persecuted by the Buddhists and the security forces.
As of December 2017, an estimated 6,55,000 Rohingya people fled to Bangladesh to avoid the persecution from the security forces that started in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August last year.
There are more than 3,00,000 Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, who fled in earlier waves of violence from the Myanmarese Government since the last three decades.
The United Nations has called the violence against civilians ‘ethnic cleansing’, but the Myanmarese Government rejected the claims.