Bangladesh for expediting verification of Rohingyas for repatriation to Myanmar
Bangladesh wants Myanmar to expedite the verification of the Rohingyas for quickly starting their repatriation that has not been possible in the last five years, with the Rohingyas saying the conditions in Rakhine were not conducive.
At the fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the repatriation of Rohingyas held virtually today, Bangladesh also stressed on ensuring security, livelihood and wellbeing of the returnees.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen led the Bangladesh side and Myanmar's Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary U Chan Aye led the Myanmar side in the meeting.
"Both sides agreed to work on addressing verification related problems and holding regular meetings of the Joint Working Group (JWG) and Technical Working Group for early commencement of repatriation," according to a statement of the foreign ministry.
Earlier, Bangladesh expressed dismay over the slow pace of verification of past residency of Rohingyas by Myanmar.
Bangladesh had handed over the names of 8.4 lakh Rohingyas to Myanmar but so far only about 42,000 were verified.
In the past, Bangladesh proposed an arrangement in place that the families of a village and all members of a family should be able to return together so that they feel a sense of security. That means the verification also needs to be done accordingly.
However, there were cases that some members of a family were out of the list of those verified.
Some 750,0000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh following brutal military campaigns in 2017. Despite a number of attempts, the Rohingyas could not be repatriated as they said the conditions in Rakhine State were not conducive and there was guarantee of citizenship once they returned home.
For over two years during the pandemic, there were no bilateral meetings. In January, a meeting of the technical level "Ad-Hoc Task Force for Verification of the Displaced Persons from Rakhine" was held virtually between Bangladesh and Myanmar.