Bangladesh, Myanmar agree on 2-year Rohingya resettlement plan

Bangladesh nursing 1

Bangladesh nursing 1

The crucial JWG with 15 each from Bangladesh and Myanmar will oversee the repatriation of over 6,00,000 Rohingya refugees who have taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape ethnic violence in the latter.

Arif Hossein, a former teacher in a Myanmar government school who fled to the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh after violence erupted in August, said he would return if the global organizations working to protect the refugees are able to go along.

The riot also occurred on the same day that a repatriation agreement was signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh to return hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to Rakhine state after they fled a brutal military crackdown last August.

The UN High Commission for Refugees stated that the underlying causes of the crisis needed to be addressed before the Rohingya feel is it safe for them to return.

As there is no United Nations involvement in the verification process as was the case in 1992, there remains a lot of doubts over how voluntary and safe the repatriation would be, he noted.

One of the most striking characteristics of the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar to Bangladesh has been the speed with which the two states have started to discuss and plan for the refugees' repatriation.

Burma denies ethnic cleansing, saying its security forces had mounted legitimate counter-insurgency clearance operations.

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It has been working with UNICEF to deliver life-saving support to the most recent and previous influxes of Rohingya refugees as well the host community in Cox's Bazar, located some 292 km southeast of Dhaka.

Myanmar will also use Hla Pho Kaung as the transit camp for the returnees, while the Bangladesh side will establish five of its kind to facilitate the process.

They warn more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees living in overcrowded, squalid, makeshift settlements are totally unprepared to deal with the extensive storm damage and destruction that is likely to occur.

It is believed there are almost 1 million Rohingya now living in Bangladesh.

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.

He noted that the refugees include orphans, which he said Myanmar will accept "if their parents really lived in Rakhine state", based on comparisons between his government's data and "court documents from Bangladesh". "Both sides agreed that the repatriation process will commence on January 23, 2018", Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Jan. 16.

Communal tension between the Buddhist Rakhine population and Muslim Rohingya has risen sharply in recent years.

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