Myanmar’s BGP forcing Rohingyas at Tombru to leave no-man’s land | 2018-05-20 |

Myanmar’s BGP forcing Rohingyas at Tombru to leave no-man’s land

    20 May, 2018 12:00 AM printer

COX’S BAZAR: Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar on Saturday reportedly started asking Rohingya people, staying on no-man’s land along the Tombru border point in Banbarban district, to leave the area.

Around 4,500 Rohingya people have been staying on the no-man’s land of the border, said Din Mohammad, a leader of Rohingya people.

BGP started asking the Rohingyas through loudhailers in the morning to leave the border area and enter Bangladesh, he said.

A BGB official in Cox’s Bazar, who wished not to be named, confirmed the incident and said the situation is now normal. “There’s no panic among Rohingyas,” he added.

Nearly 700,000 people, mostly Rohingya women and children, have fled violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar and taken shelter in Bangladesh since August 2017.

On April 15, the Home Minister at a programme in the city said some 6,000 Rohingyas are living on the zero line along Bangladesh-Myanmar border, and they are not inside Bangladesh.

“These people don’t need any identity verification. We’ve long been asking Myanmar side to take them back from the zero line,” he said.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation agreement on November 23, 2017. On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’ which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh.

The ‘Physical Arrangement’ stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start of repatriation.

Bangladesh has already handed over a list of 1,673 Rohingya families (8,032 individuals) to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation of the displaced people to their homeland in Rakhine but there is no sign of their repatriation yet.

The government is planning to send the second list consisting of up to 10,000 names of Rohingyas to Myanmar as part of the repatriation process.

Without any specific timeframe, Bangladesh and Myanmar on March 19 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to repatriate Rohingya people from Bangladesh.

The two neighbouring nations struck the MoU following a meeting between Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi at Suu Kyi’s office.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management and Relief secretary Mohammad Shah Kamal at a programme at Balukhali camp in Ukhia upazila on Saturday said 1 lakh Rohingyas will be relocated to Bhasanchar in Hatiya upazila of Noakhali within two months.

The secretary said all the preparations have been completed and the Rohingyas will be relocated there before August.  – UNB