Physical arrangement finalised to repatriate Rohingyas in 2 years


DHAKA, Jan 16, 2018 (BSS)-Bangladesh and Myanmar have finalised the physical arrangement for repatriating Rohingyas who fled persecution in their homeland.

The Joint Working Group (JWG) on the return of the displaced Rohingyas from Rakhine State finalised the physical arrangement at their first two-day meeting, which began on Monday in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw. “The two sides cordially discussed and finalised the text of the physical arrangement, which will facilitate return of Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” an official statement said.

According to UNHCR, an estimated 650,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar since late August, 2017 to escape the violence against them, which the United Nations human rights chief termed as the “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Referring to the “Arrangement on return of displaced person from Rakhine State” and the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the JWG, the statement mentioned that the physical arrangement was also finalised guided by the understanding and principles of these agreements, signed earlier.

The physical arrangement stipulates that the return of Rohingyas would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation. Verification and return will be based on considering the family as a unit.

Under the physical arrangement, Bangladesh would establish five transit camps from which returnees would be received initially in two reception centers in Myanmar.

Myanmar would shelter the returnees in a temporary accommodation at Hla Pho Khung and expeditiously rebuild houses for the returnees to move in there.

Myanmar would also consider resettling the people staying at the zero line on a priority basis. “Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh,” the statement said, adding that both countries agreed to form two Technical Working Group, one on verification and the other on return.

The physical arrangement has included modalities of the relevant aspects of the return. The meeting also finalized the “Form” for verification. Modalities for repatriation of orphans and children born out of unwarranted incidence have been incorporated in the said arrangement.

At the meeting Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation while Permanent Secretary Myint Thu led the Myanmar side.