Myanmar-Bangladesh: solution of a prolonged Rohingya refugee crisis on the way?

Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh

About six years ago, millions of persecuted Rohingya men and women from Arakan in neighboring Myanmar took refuge in Bangladesh. Since then, Bangladesh has been making efforts to repatriate the Rohingyas as well as providing shelter and humanitarian assistance. After a lot of paperwork, several repatriation initiatives were taken, but it got delayed due to various reasons. However, this time there is good news about the Rohingya repatriation.

It is known that the officials of the two countries are working on the issue of Rohingya repatriation in the first phase this month. And

This is the first time Myanmar has invited a delegation of Rohingya Muslims to Arakan to observe repatriation preparations. According to the source

A 20-member Rohingya delegation with Bangladeshi officials is scheduled to visit Mangdu, Arakan next Friday (in Rakhine) to see how favorable the situation in Arakan is for repatriation.

According to media reports, a tripartite meeting between Bangladesh and Myanmar was held in Kunming on April 18, mediated by China. In that meeting, it was decided that Bangladeshi officials with their representatives will go to Arakan or Rakhine next Friday to see how favorable the environment is for the start of Rohingya repatriation this month. Within a week of the visit, a delegation from Myanmar will come to Cox’s Bazar to talk to the Rohingyas. China and Myanmar want to start repatriating the first group of 1,176 Rohingyas this month if the situation is right.

Almost six years have passed since the arrival of the Rohingya in Bangladesh, but the repatriation could not be started even after finalizing two dates. Repatriation of the Rohingya is believed to be unconvincing due to a lack of goodwill in Myanmar and a supportive environment for repatriation, particularly in Rakhine or Arakan.

Observers say Myanmar is looking to start repatriating Rohingya suddenly, as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) sets a deadline for counter-arguments in the genocide case against the country. Myanmar is scheduled to submit its written explanation to the ICJ on May 24. Apart from this, preparations are underway to present a new proposal to the UN General Assembly on the Rohingya issue in June. So to reduce international pressure

International Rohingya analysts believe that Myanmar along with China has taken this latest step to repatriate the Rohingya.

According to media sources, China has been active in repatriating the Rohingya for months amid increasing international pressure on Myanmar’s military junta. In particular, China’s special envoy Deng Xijun visited Myanmar in December last year. Earlier last month, he visited Dhaka and met Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Masood Bin Momen.

According to observers, the idea of sending Rohingya representatives to Rakhine has been discussed for several years, but Myanmar has not agreed to it. It cannot be said that there is no problem behind suddenly agreeing to take the Rohingya representatives (in Rakhine) to Arakan. It remains to be seen how realistic China and Myanmar’s interest in Rohingya repatriation is from this month. According to them, even though the talks on repatriation are progressing, differences between Bangladesh and Myanmar remain on some fundamental issues.

Bangladesh, Myanmar and China decided in separate and joint discussions, this year 6 thousand Rohingya will be taken back to Arakan or Rakhine by December in 5 more phases of 1200 people each. According to sources, despite such a decision, Myanmar’s differences with Bangladesh on some fundamental issues have not been resolved. According to the repatriation agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar, 1,500 Rohingya are to be sent 300 per day, 5 days a week. But Myanmar now says that 150 Rohingya can be taken back to Rakhine, 30 people a day, 5 days a week, because of their lack of preparation. And Bangladesh says that according to the terms of the agreement, the Rohingyas must be taken back.

In August 2017, only three months after the influx of Rohingya, Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh for repatriation, largely under pressure from China. At that time, the then foreign minister of China, Wang Yi, visited Bangladesh and Myanmar several times. Although China is behind it, it was said that Bangladesh and Myanmar are trying to solve this problem bilaterally.

The latest from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

According to statistics, 960 thousand 539 registered Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh. Among them, the number of old registered Rohingyas is 37 thousand 366.

But in reality, the number of Rohingyas who have taken refuge in Bangladesh is more than 1.6 million.

1st-ever Rohingya team to visit Myanmar this week to ‘assess conditions’ for repatriation.

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