FM begins Myanmar tour to see progress over Rohingya return


Staff Reporter:

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali began his 4-day visit to Myanmar on Thursday to discuss progress on Rohingya repatriation with Myanmar leadership.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and members of joint working group are accompanying the Minister. Dhaka sees the visit as crucial one.

Minister Ali left Dhaka for Myanmar at 11:55pm on Wednesday, an official told UNB.

Bangladesh delegation comprising members of joint working group formed earlier for repatriation of Rohingyas living in Bangladesh will see what steps Myanmar has taken so far for creating conducive environment for safe return of Rohingyas.

Minister Ali is likely to go to Northern Rakhine apart from holding meetings with Myanmar leaders, another official told UNB.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh and Japan shared five specific proposals to find early solution to Rohingya crisis ensuring safe, voluntary and sustainable return of Rohingyas to Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Ali and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono held a meeting on Tuesday evening here and discussed Rohingya repatriation issues.

Minister Kono, earlier, shared the five proposals with Myanmar side, and they gladly accepted those proposals for quick and sustainable return of Rohingyas.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and UNDP, the UN’s development agency, on Wednesday urged Myanmar authorities to make tangible progress to improve conditions in Rakhine State.

The call came within two months of the signing of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNHCR, UNDP, and the government of Myanmar.

In line with the MoU, the UN agencies said, root causes need to be addressed by implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, including a clear, voluntary and equal pathway to citizenship for all eligible individuals.

Myanmar of “failing to tackle” the concerns of over 1 million Rohingya Muslims who fled the country and is urging the UN Security Council to take action to ensure their safe return home.

Bangladesh Permanent Representative in UN  Masud Bin Momen said in a letter to the council circulated Tuesday that while his government continues to engage with Myanmar “in good faith” on arrangements to return the Rohingya, “we regret that the necessary conditions for safe and sustainable return do not exist in Myanmar.”

“Nor has Myanmar taken any demonstrable efforts to address the concerns of the Rohingyas and the international community,” AP quoted Momen said in the letter.

Momen urged the Security Council to adopt a resolution and take “concerted and determined action to address the Rohingya crisis” so the refugees in Bangladesh can return to Myanmar, according to the AP report.

The Security Council is planning to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Myanmar’s violent crackdown on the Rohingya at an open meeting August 28 to be addressed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has called the Rohingya crisis “ethnic cleansing.”


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