India has welcomed the decision taken by Bangladesh and Myanmar to start the repatriation of Rohingyas, who belong to the Rakhine state, in mid-November.
“We welcome the agreement which was reached between the foreign secretaries of Bangladesh and Myanmar,” said spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar.
On Tuesday, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin repatriation of the first batch of Rohingyas by mid-November.
The third foreign secretary-level JWG meeting, held at state guest house Meghna in Dhaka on Tuesday, was co-chaired by Permanent Secretary Myint Thu of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, and his Bangladesh counterpart Senior Secretary M Shahidul Haque of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A total of 2,260 Rohingyas of 485 families will be repatriated in the first phase as Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin their repatriation in mid-November, said a senior official in Dhaka.
Myint Thu, however, said that they have verified about 5,000 Rohingyas.
“Once the movement of people starts, I think it's a good beginning. We hope that this process can gather momentum as confidence grows in the environment in Rakhine state for the safe, speedy and sustainable return of the displaced people,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.
And this is something which they said in the past as well that they are in favour of safe, speedy and sustainable return of the displaced people from Bangladesh to Myanmar, he explained.
“I think it's important also to note that India has been working both in Bangladesh to provide humanitarian aid to meet the needs of the displaced, and in Myanmar to create the conditions so the people who are being repatriated back to Myanmar, they get proper socio-economic conditions for a favourable return to the place where they belong to,” said Raveesh Kumar.
The joint working group members from both sides, including Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, visited Rohingya camps on Wednesday and talked to Rohingya representatives.
Rohingyas, however, say they will not go back to their place of origin in Rakhine if their basic rights, including citizenship and housing facilities are not provided.