Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bangladesh, Myanmar launch hotline to facilitate Rohingya return

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2018-08-11 01:38:43 BdST

bdnews24

Bangladesh and Myanmar have launched a hotline at the foreign minister level to facilitate “ease of discussions” for the early repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

Myanmar-Bangladesh Ministerial Meeting on Friday at Nay Pyi Taw between Union Minister of the Ministry of the Office of the State Counsellor U Kyaw Tint Swe and Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali agreed on that.

According to the Myanmar side, both parties agreed that there should be early repatriation of displaced persons from Rakhine who recently fled to Cox’s Bazar. Repatriation will be in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner.

The hotline is between the two ministers.

Mahmood Ali is visiting Myanmar to see for himself the preparations of taking back Rohingyas.

The meeting discussed the implementation of the bilateral agreement, the ‘Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State’ signed between the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh in November 2017.

The meeting reached agreement on the following points:

1. Both parties agreed that there should be early repatriation of displaced persons from Rakhine who recently fled to Cox’s Bazar. Repatriation will be in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner. In this regard, a hotline has been established between the ministers to facilitate ease of discussions.

2. It was agreed to distribute the agreed Verification Forms to those at Cox’s Bazar, for the displaced persons to fill up the forms themselves. Signatures, finger-prints, and photo IDs, are to be completed when filling the forms to indicate voluntary return and assist with Myanmar’s verification process.

3. As agreed in the Arrangement, Myanmar has built two reception centres and one transit camp. Bangladesh has confirmed progress on the five transit camps; one is complete, another under construction, and remaining three to be built.

4. Both parties agreed to intensify cooperation on counter-terrorism and the fight against drug trafficking through exchange of intelligence, closer cooperation between the border-guard officials and conducting enhanced coordinated border patrols.

5. Both parties agreed to cooperate on the issue of repatriation of displaced persons currently residing along the international border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, in particular the area between the international border and the fence erected on Myanmar’s territory in an expeditious manner.

6. It was also agreed that any humanitarian aid given to those inhabiting the area on Myanmar’s territory should be given by the aid agencies from Myanmar side.

7. Bangladesh has agreed to revise the language used in the ID cards being issued to those who are currently residing in Cox’s Bazar.

8. They also agree to conduct a joint inspection of the boundary line between the boundary pillars BP34 and BP35.