On February 16, Bangladesh handed over a list of 8,032 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation.
The government will soon send the second list consisting of upto 10,000 names of Rohingyas to Myanmar as part of the repatriation process.
“It is a continuous process. We are preparing the list. We are sending lists of Rohingyas step by step,” Relief and Refugee Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said on Wednesday.
He, however, did not want to tell the number saying they will continue to work on the issue as over one million Rohingyas are living in Bangladesh.
On February 16, Bangladesh handed over a list of 1,673 Rohingya families (8,032 individuals) to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation of the displaced people to their homeland in Rakhine state.
Myanmar side, however, verified less than 400 of those and there is no sign of their repatriation yet.
Some 700,000 Rohingyas have taken shelter in Bangladesh since last August following an army crackdown that the United Nations has likened to ethnic cleansing.
On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’ which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh but there is no significant progress over repatriation.
The ‘Physical Arrangement’ stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferablywithin two yearsfrom the start of repatriation.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reiterated the importance of addressing the root causes of the violence in Rakhine state and sought steps from Myanmar for safe return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
“It is critical that conditions are put in place to ensure that the Rohingyas are able to return home voluntarily, in safety and in dignity,” Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said in a regular briefing at the UN headquarterson Tuesday.
The UN Secretary-General reminded the responsibility of the government of Myanmar to provide security and assistance to those in need.
Earlier, the UN issued a statement saying the Secretary-General was shocked at reports of remarks attributed to Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
He urged all leaders in Myanmar to take a unified stance against incitement to hatred and to promote communal harmony.
“Such leadership is critically needed to advance institutional measures to combat discrimination and implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission (Kofi Annan Commission report),” Farhan said.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.