Rohingyas discouraged to return despite Bangladesh, Myanmar’s readiness: FM

21 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said both Bangladesh and Myanmar are “fully ready” to resume the repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland but some Rohingya leaders and NGOs are reportedly discouraging them to return.

“We’ve heard some Rohingya leaders emerged there. They don’t want the return of any Rohingya (to their homeland). They’re trying to stop returnees. Some INGOs and NGOs are instigating them (Rohingyas),” he told a small group of reporters at his office in the afternoon, reports UNB.

He said Bangladesh wants to see Rohingyas’ return to Rakhine State as soon as possible. The two countries are trying to resume the repatriation in a small scale from Thursday. 

“We want the safe and secure return of the Rohingya and free mobility in their own region. Myanmar has agreed on that,” Dr Momen said adding that many Rohingyas are willing to go back. The Foreign Minister mentioned that Rohingyas are looking for mainly citizenship and they, as per their demand, will not go until the citizenship is given.

“Myanmar is saying it’s a process,” Dr Momen said adding that Rohingyas will get cards after their return and then they have a process of getting citizenship.

On July 29, Bangladesh handed a fresh list of 25,000 Rohingyas from around 6,000 families to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation to Rakhine State.

With the latest list, Bangladesh has so far handed the names of around 55,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities and around 8,000 of them have been verified.

Dr Momen said Myanmar only cleared 3,450 Rohingyas for beginning repatriation. “We want them to go back as soon as possible.”

He said peace in the region will be hampered if their stay becomes longer in Bangladesh. Peace in the region depends on peaceful resolution of Rohingya problem, Dr Momen added.

Responding to a question, Dr Momen said China is very much involved in it and is helping Bangladesh convince Myanmar to take back their nationals.