South Asia

Rohingya repatriation: Bangladesh, Myanmar and China secretary level talks on Jan 19

Names of 8.4 lakh Rohingyas sent to Myanmar for verification
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen. File photo

Almost a year to the day, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China will hold another tripartite secretary-level meeting on Rohingya repatriation in Dhaka on January 19.

"We hope it will be a fruitful meeting," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters today.

Bangladesh has handed over a list of 8.4 lakh Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification, Momen said.

"Myanmar has verified very few people. They're very slow. They verified only 42,000 people," said the foreign minister.

Dr Momen said they are doing their part of the job but Myanmar is not responding the same way. In reply to a question, the minister said he is always hopeful about the repatriation as Myanmar took back its nationals in 1978 and 1992.

The government, earlier, hinted that the repatriation talks will begin this month as there was no Rohingya repatriation in 2020 due Covid-19 pandemic and Myanmar general elections.

More than three years ago, over 800,000 Rohingyas fled genocide and violence in Rakhine State to Bangladesh.

"Though Myanmar agreed to take back their nationals after verification, no Rohingyas returned home. There is a lack of sincerity from Myanmar's side," Momen said recently.

"Myanmar is a friendly country. They aren't our enemy. We've nothing against Myanmar. Myanmar must create a conducive environment as Bangladesh wants to see the return of Rohingyas to Myanmar in safety and security," Dr Momen added.


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