Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to complete Rohingya return preferably in two years

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-16 22:08:07|Editor: Chengcheng
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DHAKA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh and Myanmar have reached consensus to complete the process of returning hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who had fled to Bangladesh preferably within two years.

The First Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the return of the displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar's Rakhine State, was held on January 15-16 in Nay Pyi Taw.

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

Bangladesh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement received here on Tuesday said the two sides, in atmosphere of cordiality discussed and finalized the text of the Physical Arrangement which will facilitate return of Rohingays from Bangladesh, guided by the earlier understanding and principles signed "Arrangement on return of displaced person from Rakhine State" and the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the JWG.

"The Physical Arrangement stipulates that the repatriation would be completed preferably within 02 (two) years from the commencement of repatriation. Verification and return will be based on considering the family as a unit."

According to the statement, 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."

Under the Physical Arrangement, it said, Bangladesh would establish five transit camps from which returnees would be received initially in two reception centers on Myanmar side.

"Myanmar would shelter the returnees in a temporary accommodation at the Hla Pho Khung and expeditiously rebuild the houses for the returnees to move in there. Myanmar would consider resettling the people staying at the zero line on a priority basis."

Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh.

"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."

Myanmar and Bangladesh in December last year formed the JWG for the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

Some 650,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25 last year following fresh violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state.

Experts here lauded China's efforts to help resolve the Rohingya issue, as well as China's offer of relief materials for the Rohingya people.