By Kaan Bozdogan
ISTANBUL (AA) – Myanmar will take back 750,000 Rohingya Muslims who have taken refuge in Bangladesh in the next two years, the Bangladeshi ambassador to Turkey said Tuesday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Istanbul, Allama Siddiki told Anadolu Agency: “There is a joint working group between Bangladesh and Myanmar. We’ve agreed with Myanmar that they will soon start repatriation.”
He added: “Within two years from now Myanmar will take back almost all 750,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.”
Earlier this month, Bangladesh and Myanmar finalized an agreement on the physical arrangements for the repatriation of the Rohingya and agreed to send 100,000 refugees to Myanmar in the first phase.
The process will take some time with Myanmar agreeing to accept 1,500 Rohingya per week with the goal of taking back more than 700,000 within two years.
The Rohingya will first be placed in a “temporary camp” under Myanmar’s control and then settled in a locality.
Siddiki welcomed Turkey’s aid efforts and stance over the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
- Turkey's stance on refugees
“After this crisis began in August 2017, President of Turkish Republic His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first Muslim leader to come out with all his strength in advocating the solution of the problem.”
“We deeply appreciate the gesture, the reaction of Turkey and its people towards this problem.”
The ambassador also praised Turkey for being a country, which houses the largest number of refugees in the world.
“We also appreciate very much that Turkey is the world’s largest refugee sheltering country today,” he said.
“That is a kind of lesson all the people of the world should learn on how to help people in need.”
Bangladesh Consul General in Istanbul Mohammad Monirul Islam praised Turkish media for their responsible and sensible reportage on refugees in the world.
“This constructive and affirmative role of the media in Turkey has given an international dimension to the issue,” Islam said.
More than 650,000 refugees, mostly children, and women have fled Myanmar since Aug. 25, 2017, when Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to the UN.
At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.
In a report published on Dec. 12, 2017, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence.
They include 730 children below the age of 5.The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.