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Bangladesh plans to start Rohingya repatriation before December

BD delegation to visit Rakhine State in September

A delegation, comprising 20 Rohingya refugees and some Bangladeshi officials, boards a speedboat at a jetty on the Naf River in Teknaf's Jaliapara on May 5 to see the facilities prepared by the Myanmar government in Rakhine State for Rohingya repatriation. — Focus Bangla
A delegation, comprising 20 Rohingya refugees and some Bangladeshi officials, boards a speedboat at a jetty on the Naf River in Teknaf's Jaliapara on May 5 to see the facilities prepared by the Myanmar government in Rakhine State for Rohingya repatriation. — Focus Bangla

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Bangladesh plans to start repatriation of Rohingya refugees on pilot basis before December this year, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen disclosed this on Sunday.

Talking to the reporters at the Foreign Ministry, the foreign secretary mentioned that a high-level delegation headed by a director general of the Foreign Ministry will visit the Rakhine state in Myanmar in September.

“Myanmar government has proposed this visit to show the delegation the environment and the infrastructure they had built for the Rohingyas,” he added.

“After the visit of this delegation, Myanmar will also send their delegation to Coxs Bazar Rohingya camps.

There, they will talk to the Rohingya people and will brief them about the measures they have taken to ensure a conducive environment for their repatriation,” the foreign secretary said.

Responding to a question, the foreign secretary mentioned that Bangladesh has handed over a list of around 3000 Rohingyas for the repatriation in the first phase.

“And out of these, we expect around 1000 will be repatriated in the first spell,” the foreign secretary said adding that members for repatriation of same family, and same area will be given priority for repatriation”.

Mr Masud said that Bangladesh is committed for safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation.

He also stated that some international organisations have reservations in repatriating Rohingyas now as they argued that the Rakhine State does not have the conducive environment for this.

It may be mention that since the influx of Rohingyas to Bangladesh in August 2017, two attempts were taken for the repatriation, but both failed to take off as Rohingyas denied to go back then citing lack of security.

The foreign secretary said recently in the programmes organised by them in the Coxbazar camps to mark the sixth anniversary of their arrival in Bangladesh, Rohingyas made it clear that they want to go back to their home in Rakhine state in Myanmar.

Over 1.0 million Rohingyas took shelter in Bangladesh since 2017, in the face of brutal crackdown by the Myanmar security forces.

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