Rohingya repatriation: Bangladesh, Myanmar to hold meeting on May 3

Dhaka: The fourth round of meeting between Bangladesh and Myanmar on Rohingya repatriation will be held on May 3 in Nay Pyi Taw, the Foreign Office of Bangladesh said on Friday.

The Dhaka Tribune quoted Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen as saying that the meeting is aimed at the repatriation of thousands of Rohingyas, who have been forced to take shelter in Cox’s Bazar, a small town on the southeast coast of Bangladesh, in order to escape the brutalities of the Myanmar security forces and the local Buddhist mobs in the Rakhine state.

Momen added that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during her upcoming visit to Brunei, will urge the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member to assist the repatriation process of the Rohingyas.

The upcoming Bangladesh-Myanmar joint working group (JWG) meeting is the first visible move by the two neighbors after the failed repatriation attempt last year, the Foreign Minister said.

According to a deal signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar in October last year, the repatriation process was expected to begin by November. However, the process was halted as Myanmar was unable to create a conducive environment for the return of the Rohingyas.

More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed the western border of Myanmar into Bangladesh in August last year following a crackdown by the Myanmar security forces.