Rohingya Repatriation: Verification of 8,000 completed
Bangladesh wants to make sure that the Rohingyas, who are expected to return to Myanmar in the first batch, have houses to live in and other facilities in their own villages.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said this as Bangladesh and Myanmar are set to sit later this month to discuss the Rohingya repatriation.
“We've completed the village-wise verification of 8,000 Rohingyas to know who came from which village. We want to make sure they can start living in houses in their own villages,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Ali also mentioned that India had built 250 houses while China was building 1,000 more in Myanmar.
“The returnees will first stay at reception centres in Myanmar and then go to their villages.”
The minister said they would discuss the issue with the Myanmar side of the joint working group at the upcoming meeting.
Myanmar has so far failed to take steps to ensure safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
“We've taken all the preparations about the next joint working group (JWG) meeting. The meeting is likely to be held on October 30, if not October 28,” an official told UNB.
Members of the JWG from Myanmar's side will visit the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar district.
Officials said Bangladesh would seek updates on what steps were taken for the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at the 73rd UN General Assembly, made three recommendations for solving the Rohingya crisis at its root, with the first one being the abolition of discriminatory laws, policies and practices of Myanmar against the minority group.
According to her second recommendation, Myanmar must create an acceptable environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and a pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, it should create a “safe zone” inside the country to protect all civilians.
Her third recommendation was about bringing accountability and justice, particularly in the light of recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council's Fact-Finding Mission, to prevent atrocious crimes against Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Ali emphasised the need for accelerating efforts to create a conducive environment in northern Rakhine State and build houses and villages for the returnees to facilitate their repatriation.
He, along with joint working group members, visited the northern Rakhine State in August this year and saw the trail of widespread devastation, said foreign ministry officials.
Ali also visited Shwe Zar village where around 148 prefabricated houses for returnees are being built, with assistance from the government of India.
Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) on December 2017 to start repatriating Rohingya refugees by January 23, 2018.