Myanmar junta to honour Rohingya repatriation deals: Momen

NEWS DESK

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said Myanmar’s military government has conveyed that they would honour all the previous deals signed between Dhaka and Naypyidaw to commence Rohingya repatriation.

“That’s good news,” he told reporters while disclosing the outcome of his today’s meeting with Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming.

On November 23, 2017, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation agreement, but not a single Rohingya went back to their land of origin in Rakhine state from Bangladesh so far.

Momen said the Myanmar military authority informed Beijing that they are willing to take back the displaced Rohingyas after verification.

However, the foreign minister said, the Myanmar side did not mention any specific date for commencing the repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh.
Momen said China assured that Beijing would be continuing its efforts to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

“They (China) are facilitators, not decision-makers. We are requesting them again and again,” Momen said, adding that Dhaka will continue keeping pressure on China to resolve the crisis.

China has been playing a mediator role in the last four years between Bangladesh and Myanmar to find out a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis under a tripartite mechanism.

The hour-long meeting between the foreign minister and the Chinese envoy was held at the State Guesthouse Padma while today’s discussion was confined to only Rohingya issues.

Earlier, ambassador Jiming at a recent event had indicated that they are going to formally share the “feedback” with the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry based on what they talked about with the Myanmar side.

The foreign minister said Dhaka wants to see a quick and sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.

“I am always a very optimistic person (in finding a solution to the Rohingya crisis)” Momen said.

Momen said he urged the Chinese envoy to convey Beijing to play a role so that the Rohingyas living on ‘zero point’ can be taken back to the Myanmar side.

The foreign minister said it is a good development that the situation along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border has improved.

Since August 25 in 2017, Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.2 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and other rights groups dubbed as “genocide”.

Myanmar, however, is yet to take back a single Rohingya while repatriation attempts failed twice due to a trust deficit among the forcibly displaced people about their safety and security in Rakhine state.

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