Dhaka, January 17: Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed on a time frame for repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled crackdowns from the military. Bangladesh says, it aims to return all of them to Myanmar within two years.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and Myamnar’s Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar U Myint Thu led their respective sides during the meeting.
Statements from both the Myanmar and Bangladesh Foreign Ministries read that Bangladesh would set up five transit camps on its side of the border. Those camps would send Rohingyas to two reception centers in Myanmar. The repatriation process would start next Tuesday, the statements said.
Myanmar said it would build a transit camp that can house 30,000 returnees.
The Bangladesh statement said: “Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop (the) outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh”.
Myanmar stressed the need for both sides to take preventive measures against possible Rohingya attacks and said it gave Dhaka a list with the names of 1,000 alleged militants.
Over seven lakh Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh amid violence in Rakhine state in 2016 and 2017. Aid agencies have raised concerns about forcibly repatriating them. However, displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh have expressed concerns about returning to Myanmar.