Myanmar minister says Rohingya repatriation to begin “very soon”
13 April 2018, Nirapad News: Myanmar’s union minister Dr. Win Myat Aye today said repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas would begin “very soon” as he emerged from a meeting with foreign minister AH Mahmod Ali here.
“We have overcome many difficulties. . . I am very sure that we can start repatriation of Roginhys as soon as possible,” the Myanmar minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement told a media briefing after the talks at the Padma state guesthouse this evening.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and concerned officials of both the countries also joined the meeting, which Ayed called “very fruitful” saying the two countries overcame “many difficulties on the way to the repatriation process of the Rohingyas.
“We work together with Bangladesh government to make sure to start repatriation process as soon as possible,” he said adding that he had already discussed the repatriation issue with UNHCR and UNDP.
The Myanmar minister’s comments came a day after he visited the makeshift Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, the first by a Myanmar representative, when he also talked to some representatives of the displaced people of his country.
Replying to a query on the fate of Rohingyas citizenship on their return, Aye said the returnees would get citizenship according to the law of Myanmar.
“First, they (Rohingyas) have to get National Verification Card to apply for citizenship and the (Myanmar) authority will give them citizenship status after scrutiny,” he said.
The Myanmar minister said an “agreed form” to be filled up by the Rohingyas appeared to be a possible difficulty in the repatriation process adding if they filled it up “the registration process would be easier”.
Ali, on the other hand, said that the meeting discussed the impediments for the safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingys to their homeland in Myanmar.
He said that Bangladesh requested Myanmar for rebuilding the villages for repatriating Rohingys in their homeland in Rakhine state.
Ali said Myanmar delegation responded positively to the request saying they already undertook the rebuilding process with the help of many countries. “We, the both sides, have agreed that the returnees should not stay for more than a few days in transit camps,” the Bangladesh foreign minister said.
He said Myanmar delegation also told Bangladesh side that they also took many new ideas for improving livelihood of the returnees.
Ali said that both the sides have agreed to discuss and talk to each other to overcome any mistrust centering the repatriation issue while the meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere.
He said Bangladesh conveyed its appreciation to the Myanmar delegation for visiting Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar yesterday.
The UN counted some 700,000 Rohingyas to have taken refuge in Bangladesh since Myanmar army launched a crackdown on their ethnic minority community on August 25 last year.
The UN described the atrocities as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing while the rights groups called it genocide.