Bangladesh to move 15000 Rohingya from tribal district

Saul Bowman
October 3, 2017

"The talks were held in a friendly atmosphere, and Myanmar has made a proposal to take back the Rohingya refugees", Mahmood said after the meeting in Dhaka.

Bangladeshi men help Rohingya refugees to disembark from a boat on the Bangladeshi shoreline of the Naf river after crossing the border from Myanmar in Teknaf.

Myanmar denies the Rohingya minority citizenship even though many have lived there for generations.

Bangladesh and Myanmar had agreed to form similar panels for repatriation of the refugees in the late 1970s and 1990s when tens of thousands of the minority Muslims were driven away from their homes in the Rakhine state.

Since Aug. 25, some 501,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, the United Nations said on September 28.

Under worldwide pressure, Aung San Suu Kyi, in her speech last month, had spoken of taking back the Rohingyas, but said Myanmar would conduct a process of verification.

Rohingya refugees queue for aid in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 1, 2017.

More than half a million have arrived over the last five weeks after militant attacks in Myanmar's Rakhine state sparked violent reprisals which the United Nations has said could amount to ethnic cleansing in the Buddhist-dominated country.

Border security officials in Bangladesh say they were not involved with Myanmar's decision to strengthen its border. "But it (joint working group) will (be formed) very soon", said Ali.

While talking about Myanmar's attitude towards repatriation, the minister said: "If we comment or express any doubt regarding that matter then discussion process might be delayed".

Bangladesh will nominate its representative to the Joint Working Group Myanmar will give theirs to make it functional, minister said terming it a start of the repatriation of Rohingya.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi addressed human rights violations concerns in the Rakhine state in September, pledging [JURIST report] that "a$3 ction will be taken against all people, regardless of their religion, race and political position, who go against the law of the land and violate human rights".

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called Myanmar to take the persecuted Rohingya back to their homes ensuring their safety and dignity.

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