Myanmar govt suggests possible daily repatriation of 300 Rohingyas

According to the UNHCR, 605,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh since August 25.

Myanmar plans to take back 300 Rohingyas per day
File Photo: Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar wait to be let through by Bangladeshi border guards after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 16, 2017 Reuters

The Myanmar government has estimated that it can repatriate about 300 Rohingyas from Bangladesh per day.

The Rohingyas who have entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence in Myanmar would be scrutinised under four main principles of a 1993 agreement between the two countries before repatriation, reports the Irrawaddy.

“We can only process about 150 [refugees] in a checkpoint per day as we have to scrutinise and check their information,” said U Myint Kyaing, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population.

According to the report, the refugees would be accepted at two checkpoints points in Taungpyo Letwe and Nga Khu Ya villages before resettling them in Maungdaw’s Dar Gyi Zar village.

U Myint Kyaing said the Bangladesh government proposed amending parts of the agreement to help the repatriation process but the four main principles of the agreement will not change.

The four main principles states that returnees need evidence of their residence in Myanmar, repatriation must be voluntary, the parents of children born in camps must have lived in Myanmar, and refugees separated from their families need confirmation of this from a Bangladeshi court.

About additional measures in the repatriation process, he said legal action can be taken against any “terrorists” among the returnees on the spot.

He said the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar are still negotiating to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the repatriation of the Rohingyas.

The Myanmar State Department said a delegation will also meet with their government officials and humanitarian agencies to discuss efforts to improve conditions for the significant influx of Rohingyas.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at least 605,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh since August 25.

However, the report published in Irrawaddy said there was a huge gap regarding the numbers of people who fled to Bangladesh between the ground survey of Rakhine State government and UN statistics.

“We have nothing to argue on the number [of refugees]. Whatever the number they are saying, we won’t accept if they don’t have evidence of their residence here,” U Myint Kyaing said.

Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune



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