Bangladesh ready to begin Rohingya repatriation: FM

Staff Correspondent

6 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Wednesday said Bangladesh is ready to begin the much sought-after repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh to their homes.

He expressed the hope that Rohingya repatriation will begin soon, though he could not tell the exact date for the beginning.

Bangladesh expects that with sending the first batch of over 3,000 Rohingyas as clearance for them is given, the process will begin very soon, he said.

The foreign minister was talking to reporters after attending a seminar titled ‘Rohingya Crisis: Challenges and Ways Forward’ at the National Defence College (NDC) in the city.

It may be mentioned that Myanmar propaganda machine has long been active against Bangladesh and they are blaming Bangladesh for the unexpected delay in initiation of the Rohingya repatriation.

Though the prolonged Rohingya crisis has originated in Myanmar and its solutions lie there, the country has been spreading propaganda against Bangladesh.

The Myanmar side has been uttering the same baseless allegation against Bangladesh many times during the last one year.

None but Aung San Suu Kyi has recently appeared on the stage and blamed Bangladesh for the unexpected delay in initiation of the Rohingya repatriation.

Earlier in November last year, Myanmar blamed Bangladesh for delaying the start of the repatriation process for thousands of Rohingyas.

Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said his country feared Dhaka could delay the repatriation process until it receives multi-million dollars of international aid money.

Speaking at a press conference on Rakhine State’s situation in Naypyidaw on January 23, Myanmar officials blamed Bangladesh for delays in repatriation programme for Rohingya refugees.

Apart from them, Myanmar’s government last April claimed that it repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees. However, Bangladesh and the UN refugee agency disputed the claim.

On the other hand, despite Myanmar propaganda campaign, Bangladesh has always been expressing hope of initiation of the repatriation process.

Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque recently reiterated that repatriation issue in any country is a very ‘complex and difficult’ process, which cannot be done overnight.

But he expressed his optimism about repatriation of Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

After him, Mahmood’s statement has again proved that Bangladesh is not making delays in the initiation of the process of the Rohingya repatriation at all, said international relations analysts.