Rohingya crisis: Myanmar and Bangladesh agree to work together on repatriation of refugees

Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to work together to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees, officials said, but details remain thin as the humanitarian crisis deepens

AP October 25, 2017 11:27:38 IST
Rohingya crisis: Myanmar and Bangladesh agree to work together on repatriation of refugees

Yangon: Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to work together to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees, officials said, but details remain thin as the humanitarian crisis deepens.

Ties between the neighbours have been severely strained by army-led violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state that has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh since late August.

Rohingya crisis Myanmar and Bangladesh agree to work together on repatriation of refugees

Over 600,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh. AP

The exodus has saddled one of Asia's poorest nations with a massive humanitarian crisis, with refugees too terrified to return to Rakhine.

Dhaka and the United Nations have accused Myanmar's army of ethnic cleansing and called for full repatriation of the Muslim minority, who have crammed into makeshift camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district.

Washington is also pressing for targeted sanctions against Myanmar military officers involved in the violence.

After talks in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on Tuesday, Bangladesh's home ministry said Myanmar had agreed to stop the outflow of Rohingya and take back all refugees.

"Myanmar has agreed to stop continuous entry of displaced Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh and to bring normalcy back to the Rakhine state," the home ministry said in a statement.

But Myanmar offered a more measured commitment, saying only that refugees would need to be scrutinised for proof of their roots in Rakhine state.

"We cannot say when we are going to receive (the refugees)," Tin Myint from Myanmar's home ministry told reporters after the meeting. "We will accept after scrutinising... we will check whether they really stayed in Maungdaw and Buthidaung," he said, referring to the hardest-hit districts in Rakhine that are now nearly empty of Rohingya residents.

That criteria may be difficult to fulfil for Rohingyas who bolted from Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs who they allege drove them out with a massive campaign of arson, murder and rape. Also, Myanmar has rendered the Rohingya stateless with the government refusing to recognise them as a distinct ethnic group.

Myanmar has vehemently rejected accusations of ethnic cleansing and defended the army campaign as a legitimate response to 25 August attacks by Rohingya militants.

Previous Myanmar government statements have suggested that any Rohingya with links to the militants would be barred from returning home.

Even if the reparation plan goes forward, there is widespread concerns over what the Rohingya will return to, since many of their villages have been razed by fires.

Updated Date:

also read

Bangladesh vs New Zealand: Mahmudullah Riyad hits unbeaten 43 as hosts win by six wickets to claim T20I series
First Cricket News

Bangladesh vs New Zealand: Mahmudullah Riyad hits unbeaten 43 as hosts win by six wickets to claim T20I series

New Zealand were bowled out for 93 and Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad hit an unbeaten 43 as his side reached 96 for four with five balls to spare. Victory gave Bangladesh an unbeatable 3-1 series lead.

Tom Latham helps New Zealand beat Bangladesh in fifth T20I for consolation win
First Cricket News

Tom Latham helps New Zealand beat Bangladesh in fifth T20I for consolation win

Skipper Tom Latham's unbeaten 50 and a 24-ball 41 by opener Finn Allen guided New Zealand to 161-5, a total they defended by restricting Bangladesh to 134-8.

Bangladesh vs New Zealand: Finn Allen returns to Kiwis' squad after COVID-19 bout
First Cricket News

Bangladesh vs New Zealand: Finn Allen returns to Kiwis' squad after COVID-19 bout

The 22-year-old, who made his international debut this year, tested positive for the infectious disease 48 hours after arriving in Dhaka last week.