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Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an initial agreement in November to repatriate the Rohingya, and the 30-member working group was set up last month to oversee the process.

An agreement to return Rohingya refugees to Myanmar from Bangladesh within two years has been reached after two days of talks between officials from both countries.

The repatriation program is expected to begin Tuesday, Myanmar state media reported, and the two countries said they want to return the more than 650,000 refugees that have fled to restive Rakhine State in two years, according to a statement released by Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry.

On sheltering the Rohingya in the transit camps, he said if they were kept in the camps in Myanmar, there was no guarantee the camps inside Myanmar would be better than those in Bangladesh.

The UN has described the Myanmar military's treatment of the Rohingya as "textbook ethnic cleansing". On one hand, the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants that established the Global Compact process, asserts that the worldwide community "will actively promote durable solutions" for refugees, "with a focus on sustainable and timely return in safety and dignity".

"We had proposed to repatriate 15,000 Rohingyas every week but they [Myanmar] did not agree to it", Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Sufiur Rahman said.

"Rohingya will put trust in Myanmar only if concrete promises are made to grant them citizenship and to ensure their peaceful living in Rakhine".

Authorities in Myanmar continue to deny the manifold stories of rape and mass killing that have emerged since their crackdown began in August as a retaliation for attacks by Rohingya insurgents.

"There's no point in sending us back to Myanmar because there is no security for us there", he said. "Some 1,500 Rohingyas will be sent back in a week".

UNHCR's Gluck said that Rohingya refugees said they would only consider returning if they saw positive developments in relation to their legal status and citizenship, the security situation in Rakhine State and their ability to enjoy basic rights back home.

"The worst would be to move these people from camps in Bangladesh to camps in Myanmar", Mr Guterres said at a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in NY.

Camps were similarly erected for more than 120,000 Rohingya following communal riots in 2012.

"Modalities for repatriation of orphans and children born out of unwarranted incidence have been incorporated in the said arrangement", the statement said.

He said Myanmar will have build confidence among the Rohingya population by assuring that they will not be tortured and be able to live there properly. It said they agreed that the process "would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation".


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