173 Bangladeshi returned, 288 Myanmar security personnel to depart

A total of 173 Bangladeshi nationals imprisoned in Rakhine returned home on Wednesday while 288 Myanmar security personnel who fled to Bangladesh due to conflict in other side of border will be repatriated by a naval ship sent by Naypyidaw.

“Under Foreign ministry Myanmar wing’s special initiatives, the 173 ‘verified Bangladeshi’ today returned home from Sittwe prison in Rakhine State of Myanmar,” said a foreign ministry’s press release here.

Cox’s Bazar Sadar Lawmaker constituency Saimum Sarwar Kamal received the returnees in jetty Ghat area, it added.

The returnees were carried by the ‘Myanmar Naval Ship Chin Dwin’ which will bring back 288 members of Myanmar defence forces including Border Guard Police (BGP) and army.

The foreign ministry said the repatriation procedure of the Myanmar security members will take place from Cox’s Bazar BIWTA Ghat after verifying by the Myanmar delegation on April 25.

If required, the repatriation process will be expanded up to April 26, it added.

The repatriation process will take place in the presence of representatives of the Bangladesh foreign ministry and Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka.

Earlier, Bangladesh Embassy in Yangon, upon receipt of the information of the tentative visit of the Myanmar ship to Bangladesh, took up the issue with the Bangladesh Foreign and Home Ministry and relevant Myanmar authorities to seize the opportunity to send back the maximum number of verified Bangladeshi Nationals who were in different prisons of Myanmar.

The Embassy also pursued the relevant host authorities to bring back the 144 ‘verified and jail term completed or pardoned’ returnees in Sittwe prison for smooth return and pursued for releasing the 29 verified Bangladeshi nationals who were still serving their jail terms or under trial.

Pursuant to the Mission’s efforts the 29 persons were pardoned and sent back to Bangladesh.

On humanitarian grounds, so far this year, more than 600 members of Myanmar’s BGP and military forces have been provided shelter in Bangladesh and arranged their repatriation through bilateral initiative by the foreign ministry.

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