5th Rohingya repatriation talk held virtually

On Tuesday, 14 June 2022, the fifth meeting of the Myanmar-Bangladesh Joint Working Group (JWG) was held online. The meeting was co-chaired by the Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Mr Masud Bin Momen and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Chan Aye.

The two sides exchanged views and updates on the following topics:

  • The Myanmar side discussed the status of the repatriation, the difficulties of the verification process, the resettlement plan and preparation and confidence-building measures.
  • The two sides deliberated on Rohingya repatriation in accordance with Bilateral agreements signed by Bangladesh and Myanmar and in accordance with the health protocol on prevention, control and treatment of the COVID-19 issued by Myanmar.
  • The Myanmar envoy also lauded Myanmar’s initiatives to ensure the prevalence of security and rules of law in Rakhine State, renovation works of the reception centres, the transit camp and houses, and preparations and arrangements made for the livelihood, and health and education basic services.

In August 2017, the government of Myanmar launched a disproportionate “clearance operations” in Northern Arakan that resulted in the exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh. Currently, the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh is 1.1 million.

Ironically the Myanmar regime is currently planning to repatriate 700 Rohingya in a batch of 150 per week. They would be initially housed in transit camps in Taungpyo Letwe, Nga Khuya, and Hla Poe Kaung in Maungdaw according to a statement of U Hla Thein, spokesman of the regime’s Arakan State Administration Council. While on the contrary, the situation in Maungdaw/Buthidaung area is very intense.

According to some the sudden surfing of Rohingya-Rakhine tension in Northern Arakan might be another design of those, who do not want Rohingya repatriation nor want peace in Northern Arakan.

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