Is Myanmar Junta Finally Going To Repatriate Rohingyas From Bangladesh? – OpEd


Bangladesh and Myanmar are working fast to start a pilot project for Rohingya repatriation before the monsoons. The list of more than 1000 Rohingya citizens has already been handed over from Bangladesh for repatriation. The Myanmar government is speedily verifying it. Besides, the country is arranging the rehabilitation of Rohingyas in Rakhine.

Myanmar wants to start the pilot project quickly to increase the acceptance of the military junta under pressure from the international community. The first priority of Bangladesh is the repatriation of Rohingya and the government is working towards this goal. Rakhine situation is now better than ever. Security, living arrangements, education and health conditions for Muslims in Rakhine have greatly improved. For this reason, the two countries want to start repatriation.

To monitor the situation, Myanmar sent ambassadors or consul generals of 11 countries, including Bangladesh, India, China and eight ASEAN countries, to visit various places in Rakhine. In between, they visited other places including Nakhua Reception Center opposite Teknaf and a nearby village, an internal displacement camp in Sittwe and another internal displacement camp in Chakto region.

According to related sources, the security situation in Rakhine is now stable. It is favorable to start the process of repatriation of Rohingya there. Apart from this, the issue has become easier as India, China and other ASEAN countries have agreed on the solution of this problem.

Why pilot projects?

Since the number of Rohingyas is very large, all parties want to send a small number of Rohingya citizens to assess the situation in the first instance.

According to a report in this regard, everyone wants to start the main repatriation process after considering the pros and cons of the pilot project. If the pilot project is successful, it will help to speed up the main repatriation process.

Repatriation before monsoon

The rainy season will start in a few months. Myanmar and Bangladesh are working towards starting repatriation earlier.

In this regard, a Bangladesh media report said that the verification process of the list of Rohingyas given for repatriation under the pilot project will be completed at the earliest.

Returning Rohingya nationals will be received at two reception centers which have been completed. After staying there for a few hours to 24 hours, the Rohingyas will be kept in a transit camp, where several thousand Rohingyas can stay together. Sources said that after staying in the camp for a week to a month, they will be sent back to their homes.

Benefits for Muslims

The security situation of Muslims is better than ever before and steps have been taken in this regard. Apart from this, there has been improvement in livelihood, health and education.

An official of the ministry, who did not wish to be named, said that 200 Muslim students were admitted to Sittwe University last year after being closed for 9 years. Many Muslim students have been admitted this year as well. As a result, the educational facilities for Muslims there have increased a lot.

The overall health system in Rakhine is not developed and this applies to everyone, he said even Arakanese people want to come to Bangladesh for treatment. But Muslims are getting medical treatment.

Ambassadors of eight countries including Bangladesh, India, China visit Rakhine

Myanmar is suddenly preparing to return thousands of Rohingya sheltered in Bangladesh to Rakhine under a pilot project. As part of the repatriation preparations, eight ambassadors from the ASEAN alliance, including Bangladesh, India, China, were shown around Maungdoo and Situwek repatriation camps, Myanmar authorities said Thursday.

Diplomatic sources in Yangon confirmed this information. The envoys visited different areas of Rakhine from last Wednesday morning to Thursday afternoon.

According to the responsible diplomatic sources in Dhaka and Naypyidaw, the military government of Myanmar took the ambassadors of Bangladesh, India, China and ASEAN together to visit Rakhine in this first state event.

On the first day of the visit, the envoys were shown the renovation work of the interim camp set up five years ago in the village of Naquiya on the banks of the Naf River, just opposite the Teknaf border. It was informed that those who will be taken back from Bangladesh by water will be kept in that camp for the first few days. Later they will be taken to Lapukha camp in Mangdu. After staying there for a month, they will be permanently transferred to camps under construction near Maungdoo and Sittwek.

Diplomats were also shown a camp for internally displaced people since 2012 in the Chakfu area, known for its oil companies and deep-sea port, where Chinese investments are being built, according to sources. It is also said that those camps will be closed and the displaced Rohingyas will be permanently transferred to nearby villages. The messengers were shown that a mosque still existed in the area.

When asked if Myanmar has given any idea as to when the repatriation can start, an envoy who visited Rakhine said that no date for the repatriation has been decided yet. But under the pilot project they want to start repatriation by accepting more than a thousand Rohingya. Through this, they will try to convey that they are sincere about repatriation.

On this side, since the news of the visit of the envoys of Bangladesh, India and China to Rakhine, there has been a mixed reaction in the Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar. While many have welcomed the initiative, they have opinion that Myanmar junta mutation really start repatriation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *