Bangladesh, Myanmar and China have agreed to form a tripartite joint working mechanism to oversee the repatriation process of Rohingyas to Myanmar. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr A K Abdul Momen announced this yesterday in New York after holding talks with his counterparts from China and Myanmar.
He said that the proposal was mooted by China which was also agreed to by Myanmar and Bangladesh. Dr Momen said that the first meeting of the tripartite group will be held next month. However, Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hou Do Suan downplayed the importance of the mechanism.
According to a report of Radio Free Asia, Mr Suan said that the formation of the working group is not a new mechanism. He said Myanmar and Bangladesh already have a joint working group and China is only helping the two countries in implementing the agreements they already have.
Bangladesh and Myanmar had signed two agreements in November 2017 for repatriation of the Rohingyas within two years but two repatriation attempts have failed as the Rohingyas refused to return without the guarantee of citizenship and safety in Myanmar.
According to UNHCR, Bangladesh has more than nine lakh Rohingya refugees out of which close to 7 lakh 50 thousand refugees arrived after August 2017 fleeing Rakhine Province of Myanmar amid violence and military crackdown. Bangladesh claims to have 11 lakh Rohingya refugees in the country.