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2nd list of 22,432 Rohingyas given to Myanmar
Bangladesh has handed over another list of 22,432 forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar for scrutiny for their return to Rakhine State.
Disclosing this, foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque told reporters on Saturday that Bangladesh also sought support of the United Nations to start repatriation of the Rohingyas ensuring their voluntariness.
‘We handed over a list of 2,260 people of 485 families, including 66 Myanmar citizens, to the Myanmar embassy and the UNHCR in Dhaka on October 28 seeking their repatriation,’ he said. ‘We are expecting that the first batch would be able to go back within two weeks of handing over the list in compliance to the arrangements agreed by the two countries if everything goes right.’
Foreign ministry officials on Saturday held a meeting with the UNRC, UNHCR and IOM heads in Dhaka seeking their support in the repatriation process.
Asked about ensuring security of the Rohingyas and confirming their Myanmar citizenship, Bangladesh officials in Cox’s Bazar said that Rohingya delegates directly raised the matters in their meeting with permanent secretary of the Myanmar foreign ministry Myint Thu on October 31 in Rohingya camps.
Rohingyas also sought regular presence of the international community in Rakhine for their security.
Myint Thu, who was in Dhaka to attend meeting of the Joint Working Group of the two countries on Rohingya repatriation, assured the Rohingyas that their citizenship would be considered under the Kofi Annan Commission recommendations after their return to Rakhine.
Rohingyas would be kept for 2/3 days in the transit camps near to their respective township on their return and are likely to be given National Verification Card initially for identification, Myanmar officials said.
They also asked The International Committee of the Red Cross to take back 4,500 Rohingyas staying along the zero line of the borders of the two countries to their houses.
The Myanmar side has cleared in 19 phases a list of 4,600 of 8,032 Rohingyas on the first list presented by Bangladesh side on February 16 for return.
Singapore foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan is scheduled for today to visit forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals staying in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar today. He reached Dhaka on Saturday on a three-day official visit.
Balakrishnan held bilateral talks with his Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali in Dhaka Saturday evening.
The visit of the foreign minister of Singapore, which is the current chair of South East Asian regional group ASEAN, to Rohingya camps is significant as he would also visit Myanmar this week.
About 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.