Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to complete Rohingya return preferably in two years
17 January 2018, 02:12 | Isaac Mcdaniel
Bangladesh Is Sending Rohingya Back To Myanmar — That's Not Good
Bangladeshsaid on Tuesday it would complete the process of returning within two years numerous hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who had fled a conflict in Myanmar, following a meeting of the neighbours.
A camp to house Rohingya Muslim and Hindu refugees who return from Bangladesh will be ready by its promised deadline next week, according to officials.
A statement from the Bangladeshi side said the pact "stipulated that the repatriation would be completed preferably within two years".
Referring to the first meeting of the Joint Working Group of Bangladesh and Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation, which took place on Monday, the UNHCR said it was willing to be a part of the repatriation discussions in order to ensure that the refugees are heard and their protection guaranteed in Bangladesh and on return in Myanmar, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.
"Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh", it said. 'Any repatriation process must be voluntary and only once the causes of their flight have been fully addressed'.
The deal applies to Rohingya who fled Myanmar in two major outbreaks of violence since October 2016, when militants from the stateless Muslim minority first attacked border-guard posts in northern Rakhine state. Most immediately, the voluntary nature of any return must be verified, with a process put in place for the United Nations to check that every Rohingya refugee who crosses back over the border does so willingly.
Previous episodes of displacement and return of the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar over the last 20 years "do not inspire confidence", the report said.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Sufiur Rahman said, "We have signed a very positive treaty".
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