Myanmar delegation in Bangladesh to restart Rohingya repatriation process
Dhaka, Mar 15 (EFE).- A group of officials from Myanmar arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday to restart the process of repatriating Rohingya refugees, which has remained stuck for a long time following two failed attempts to return members of the discriminated minority to their hometowns.
A 17-member delegation arrived on Wednesday morning at the Cox’s Bazaar district, which houses the largest Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, in order to carry out the refugees’ “verification,” local Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mizanur Rahman told EFE.
Dhaka claims to have collected the biometric data of around 830,000 Rohingyas, which has been submitted to Myanmar authorities to verify their arrival in the country, but only 58,000 have been verified.
The refugees have also submitted a list of 1,140 Rohingya persons to initiate their repatriation, although the Myanmar authorities have only agreed to process 711 of them, Rahman said.
“We collected their (the refugees’) documents and told them (Naypyidaw) that these are their people. Based on that they arrived and started interviewing these people and scrutinizing their documents,” he added.
An official of Bangladesh’s ministry of foreign affairs told EFE on the condition of anonymity that the visiting Myanmar officials would not participate in any other activities other than verifying documents.
“They are verifying the documents because the family dimension of the Rohingyas has changed over the years,” he said.
Since widespread violence broke out against the minority in Myanmar five years ago, Bangladesh has twice attempted to repatriate members of the community to the neighboring nation, but the attempts failed over the lack of citizenship and security guarantees for the refugees.
Bangladesh houses nearly one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, out of which around 774,00 have arrived after Myanmar military’s campaign of persecution and violence in 2017, which the UN classified as an example of ethnic cleansing and a possible genocide. EFE