Myanmar says it will repatriate Rohingya

Bangladesh nurse

Bangladesh Agrees With Burma to Complete Rohingya Return in Two Years

It does not cover Rohingya refugees who were living in Bangladesh prior to that date who the United Nations estimates number at 200,000.

BANGLADESH said on Tuesday that it will complete the process of returning all Rohingya Muslim refugees to Burma (Myanmar) within two years, after the neighbours met to implement a pact signed last year.

"The protection of the Rohingya refugees must be guaranteed both in Bangladesh and upon their return to Myanmar", she said in an emailed response.

Touhid Hossain said: "One of the main clauses of the repatriation agreement of 1978 and 1992 was that the Myanmar government will take steps to ensure that the Rohingyas do not flee to Bangladesh".

Bangladesh would establish five transit camps from which returnees would be received initially in two reception centers on Myanmar side.

The Bangladesh statement said: "Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop [the] outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh".

"Keeping children safe from disease must be an absolute priority", Mr Beigbeder added.Since 25 August, widespread violence in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state has forced over 650,000 members of the Rohingya community to flee their homes and seek shelter across the border in Bangladesh.

Mrauk U, home to an ancient Buddhist complex of the last Rakhine kingdom, lies a few dozen kilometres from the epicentre of violence that saw Rohingya driven in their hundreds of thousands into Bangladesh since last August. Myanmar repeatedly denies that.

Rights experts warn, however, of the risk that moving the refugees could do little beyond landing them in different camps across the border, where they have less access to life-saving assistance.

Whether overseas monitors will oversee the transition or continued security of returnees; if they will be able to live freely in villages, or will end up in de facto internment camps in Rakhine is uncertain. We can repatriate them. "Until they consider us citizens we won't go back". "Bangladesh authorities also need to proceed with the paperwork and documents for refugees and send it to us fast". "They [Myanmar] have taken some preparations for the Rohingyas". But as it stands, many questions remain.

The hardline Buddhist party Arakan National has opposed the government's plan to resettle refugees in southern Maungdaw by citing security concerns for ethnic Rakhine.

Referring to the "Arrangement on return of displaced person from Rakhine State" and the terms of reference of the JWG, the statement said that the physical arrangement was also finalised guided by the understanding and principles of these agreements signed earlier.

Myanmar and Bangladesh continue to express confidence that the repatriation process is on track to begin January 22.

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