Involvement of multilateral agencies and different countries is a must for the successful implementation of the arrangement signed by Bangladesh and Myanmar for Rohingya repatriations, analysts said.
Talking to the daily sun, AKM Atiqur Rahman, former secretary of the foreign affairs ministry, said the multilateral involvement, especially the UN engagement, is a must for the success in the arrangement.
The former ambassador said both the parties have to involve international community in the process of verification for the repatriation of Rohingya people.
He also said the verification for the repatriation has to be based on the testimony and admission of the displaced people, not on the documents.
If anyone can identify and confirm his/her residence in Myanmar, they have to be verified and repatriated, he continued.
The career diplomat also said the arrangement signing is obviously a positive sign, but time will say what the fate of the arraignment will be.
He is also of the opinion that the involvement of international community is a must as the repatriation has to be voluntarily and in a dignified way.
For that, the Myanmar must ensure security and safety of the Rohingya people by granting all of them citizenship and it is not possible without the involvement of multilateral parties, he explained.
Shahab Enam Khan, associate professor at International Relations Department at Jahangirnagar University, said as a beginning it is commendable, but implementation will depend on how it will be monitored.
The involvement of multilateral agencies is a paramount important for its successful implementation at every level, he maintained.
Terming the instrument signing “a positive sign” and “just the beginning”, he said, “We have to be very careful that the instrument signing doesn’t mean Myanmar has recognised the Rohingyas as its citizens.”
They will return on the basis of verification, but Myanmar even doesn’t give a deadline for the repatriation, he observed.
Over the verification process, Shahab said as only over 7,000 displaced Myanmar people have national verification cards out of more than six lakh, Bangladesh has to involve multilateral sides in the process.
“I am definitely optimistic. This is a positive sign and remarkable achievement to strike a bilateral deal with Myanmar,” he added.
But whether it will be implemented or not, it’s the matter of time, However, Bangladesh will have to be strongly vigilant on how it is being implemented, he said.
“And we hope that the multilateral agencies as well as the different countries will be monitoring the implementation of the agreement, otherwise it will not happen,” he continued.
The analyst mentioned that bilateral involvement is one of the processes, but it has to be multi dimensional and multilateral as many processes, including aid and rehabilitation, are interlinked to the issue.
As the repatriations have to be willingly, the multilateral involvement is a must because there are strong needs for aids, investments and so on, he maintained.
On Thursday, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed ‘Arrangement’ on Return of displaced Myanmar persons sheltered in Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali MP and U Kyaw Tint Swe, Union Minister of Myanmar, signed the bilateral instrument on behalf of their respective sides in Naypyidaw.
The bilateral instrument was being negotiated by officials of the two countries for the last couple of months.
The ‘Arrangement’ stipulates that the return shall commence within two months. A Joint Working Group will be established within three weeks of signing the ‘Arrangement’.
A specific bilateral instrument (physical arrangement) for repatriation will be concluded in a speedy manner.