Dhaka, Oct 12 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Myanmar are likely to sit later this month to discuss the Rohingya repatriation issues as Myanmar has failed to take steps to ensure safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland, says a senior official.
“Yes, we’re in discussion about the next joint working group (JWG) meeting. The meeting is likely to be held on October 30, if not October 28,” the official told UNB on Friday.
Officials said Bangladesh will seek updates on what steps are taken for the safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar from Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the 73rd UN General Assembly made three recommendations for solving the Rohingya crisis at its root, including the abolition of discriminatory laws, policies and practices of Myanmar against the minority group.
According to her second recommendation, Myanmar must create an acceptable environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, it should create a “safe zone” inside the country to protect all civilians.
Her third recommendation says atrocious crimes against Rohingyas in Myanmar should be prevented by bringing accountability and justice, particularly in the light of recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has emphasised the need for accelerating efforts to create a conducive environment in northern Rakhine State and build houses and villages for returnees to facilitate repatriation.
Minister Ali along with joint working group members in August this year visited the northern Rakhine State and saw the ‘trail of widespread devastation’ suffered by people there, said the Foreign Ministry officials.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister also visited Shwe Zar village where around 148 prefabricated houses for returnees are being built with assistance from the government of India.
Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) on December 2017 to start repatriating Rohingya refugees by January 23, 2018.