By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh on Thursday said Myanmar has agreed to take back the Rohingya refugees under a bilateral agreement signed in November 2017.
“The good news is that the current Myanmar government has agreed to take back Rohingya citizens, and is developing facilities in the Rakhine State,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said at a press briefing in the capital Dhaka.
He added that China being an important ally of Myanmar will facilitate the repatriation process.
The top Bangladeshi diplomat briefed the media following a meeting with the Chinese envoy to Dhaka, Li Jiming.
He, however, criticized Myanmar’s authorities for complicating the process by demanding identity documents from the Rohingya.
“When the Rohingya fled Rakhine State, the situation was very dangerous and they came to Bangladesh with nothing except clothes on their bodies. How can they provide documents now to prove their identity as Myanmar's nationals?” Momen questioned.
He noted two previous moves for repatriation have failed due to Rohingya’s lack of confidence in Myanmar’s authorities.
“So, this time we want to do something that will be sustainable,” he viewed.
Underlining Japan, Russia, and the UK as other strategic partners of Myanmar, he added that Bangladesh has been in constant contact with all of these nations, as well as India, in order to ensure the peaceful and sustainable return of Rohingya to their home country of Myanmar.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya in the country's congested makeshift tents in the southern border district of Cox's Bazar. Most of these stateless people fled a brutal military crackdown in the Rakhine State in August 2017.