A Myanmar delegation and a five-member ASEAN emergency response team would meet Rohingyas at their camps in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday and would discuss the way forward of their repatriation process.
Bangladeshi officials in Cox’s Bazar said the Myanmar delegation would reach Dhaka on Friday, fly to Cox’s Bazar on Saturday and would leave on Sunday.
Four officials from Myanmar embassy in Dhaka would join with the 10-member Myanmar delegation led by U Myint Thu, the permanent secretary at their foreign affairs ministry, officials said.
Ko Ko Naing, the director general of the Myanmar Disaster Management Department, would also be part of the delegation.
The Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee signed a memorandum of understanding with the Disaster Management Department in May this year on collaboration in humanitarian work.
Apart from the Myanmar delegation, five members of emergency response and assessment team of ASEAN-AHA Centre would also visit Rohingya leaders at the same time.
AHA Centre, an intergovernmental organisation, was established by the ten ASEAN member states with the aim to facilitate cooperation and coordination of disaster management amongst ASEAN members.
Muhammad Abul Kalam, the Bangladesh Refugees, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, said, ‘We want to see positive outcome from the visit although the problem is not created by us.’
Another official in Cox’s Bazar who deals with the Rohingya repatriation process, told New Age that at similar meetings in the past, Myanmar had explained how the national verification process would be done upon the repatriation of the Rohingya population. ‘But,’ the official said, ‘after hearing all the presentation, the Rohingya leaders rose only two points — one was when and how their citizenship would be given and another was whether the Myanmar government would recognise Rohingya ethnicity among others in Myanmar. The Myanmar officials did not reply to those questions.’
More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.
The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.