Bangladesh-Myanmar form joint working group to return Rohingyas


Rohingya refugees wait for food distribution at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, December 18, 2017. — Reuters photo

Bangladesh and Myanmar on Tuesday formed a joint working group to supervise all aspects of repatriation of Rohingyas to Rakhine state.

The foreign secretaries of the countries would lead respective side in the 30-member group, 15 from each, Bangladesh foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali told journalists.

The group was formed after about a three-hour foreign secretary-level meeting between the countries in Dhaka. The meeting started around 9:00am.

Bangladesh foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque led a 10-member delegation in the talks while Myanmar foreign ministry’s permanent secretary Myint Thu led an eight-member delegation.

The Bangladesh and the Myanmar governments missed a December 14 deadline for establishing a JWG and agreeing the terms of reference for supervising the return.

Over 6,55,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine — what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing — between August 25 and December 15. Several international authorities denounced the operations as genocide.

The ongoing Rohingya influx took the total number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 10,74,000 till December 15, according to estimates by UN agencies.

Source: New Age.

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