Cox’s Bazar, Oct 31 (UNB) - A total of 2,260 Rohingyas of 485 families will be repatriated in the first phase as Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin their repatriation in mid-November, said a senior official on Wednesday.
Permanent Secretary of Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Myint Thu told reporters that they have verified about 5,000 Rohingyas and the first batch of repatriation will begin in mid-November.
He made the remarks while briefing reporters at Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia upazila of the district in the afternoon.
The joint working group members from both sides, including Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, visited Rohingya camps on Wednesday and talked to Rohingya representatives.
Rohingyas, however, said they will not go back to their place of origin in Rakhine if their basic rights, including citizenship and housing facilities, are not provided.
On Tuesday, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the repatriation of the first batch of Rohingyas by mid-November.
The third foreign secretary-level JWG meeting, held at State guesthouse Meghna in the city, was co-chaired by Permanent Secretary Myint Thu of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar and his Bangladesh counterpart Senior Secretary M Shahidul Haque of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After the third foreign secretary-level JWG meeting held at State guesthouse Meghna in the capital, Myanmar Permanent Secretary Myint Thu said they had a very friendly and candid meeting and came up with the “very concrete results” on the commencement of the repatriation.
“We’ve shown our political will, flexibility, and accommodation in order to commence the repatriation at the earliest possible dates,” he said.
The Myanmar official claimed they have streamlined lots of local directives to promote awareness on repatriation among the returnees.
“We’re also promoting public policy which includes police personnel together with the local communities to maintain and promote law and order,” he said adding that they are also promoting awareness on the fundamental principles so that people can get access to justice system if they encounter any issue.
Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) on December 2017 to start the repatriation of Rohingya refugees by January 23, 2018.
In May, the Myanmar side urged the Bangladesh side to start the repatriation of the earlier verified 778 Muslims and 444 Hindus.