Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today (15 June 2022) welcomed the resumption of Joint Working Group (JWG) talk between Bangladesh and Rohingyas regarding repatriation of the forcibly displaced people from Bangladesh to their homeland in Rakine state of Myanmar.
“It’s good news that Myanmar has started the discussion,” he told reporters after attending a programme at a city hotel.
On Tuesday, Bangladesh and Myanmar held the fifth meeting of the JWG virtually on the repatriation of displaced people of Rakhine State of Myanmar temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh.
Dr Momen said during the meeting Dhaka stressed on expediting the verification process of the Rohingyas to begin their repatriation to their place of origin in Rakhine State of Myanmar.
He said the Bangladesh side so far handed over a list of 830,000 individuals containing biometric data but they have only verified 58,000.
Dr Momen said Dhaka would like to start the repatriation under a particular model but no date yet to fix regarding this.
Bangladesh today called upon Myanmar early commencement of repatriation to lessen the colossal burden of hosting the displaced Rohingya people.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Myanmar Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Chan Aye are leading the respective sides.
The JWG held “substantive discussions” on all issues related to voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the displaced people to their homeland.
Both sides agreed to work on addressing verification related problems and holding regular meetings of JWG and Technical Working Group for early commencement of repatriation, a foreign ministry’s statement said after the meeting.
Earlier on 19 December 2017, the JWG consisting of government representatives from Myanmar and Bangladesh was subsequently formed to start repatriating displaced Rohingyas.
The JWG held its first meeting on 15 January 2018 in Naypydaw, Myanmar.
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 in the last nearly five years while repatriation attempts failed twice due to trust deficit among the forcibly displaced people about their safety and security in Rakhine state.