Bangladesh, Myanmar Aim to  Finish Rohingya Return in 2 Years
Bangladesh, Myanmar Aim to  Finish Rohingya Return in 2 Years

Bangladesh, Myanmar Aim to Finish Rohingya Return in 2 Years

Bangladesh, Myanmar Aim to Finish Rohingya Return in 2 Years

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed that they will try to complete the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled from violence in Myanmar within two years, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry said a joint working group from the two countries finalized an agreement on Monday on the physical arrangements for the repatriation of the ethnic Rohingya. It said they agreed that the process “would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation,” AP reported.
Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an initial agreement in November to repatriate the Rohingya, and the 30-member working group was set up last month to oversee the process. Many have questions whether Rohingya would return to Myanmar under the current circumstances, and whether Myanmar would accept them and allow them to live freely.
Under the November agreement, Rohingya will need to provide evidence of their residency in Myanmar in order to return—something many say they do not have.
More than 650,000 ethnic Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August, when Myanmar’s military launched a brutal crackdown in Rakhine State after a militant group attacked police posts. Myanmar’s army described it as “clearance operations” against terrorists, but the United Nations and the US have called it “ethnic cleansing.”
Despite having lived in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar for generations, Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship, freedom of movement and access to basic social rights. They are generally called “Bengalis,” a reference to the belief that they migrated illegally from Bangladesh.
Myanmar officials said the length of the repatriation will depend on how quickly Bangladesh can provide documentation of refugees’ previous residency and how fast applications are submitted.
Myanmar officials plan to start the repatriation process next Tuesday. Zaw Htay said at least 500 Hindus and 500 Muslims will be in the first group to return.


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