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Friday, February 16, 2018 11:28:07 PM
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First step towards repatriation

BD hands over list of 8,032 Rohingyas

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Bangladesh-Myanmar Home Ministers-level meeting was held at the Secretariat on Rohingya repatriation including border security issues on Friday.

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Staff Reporter :
Bangladesh has handed over a list of 8,032 Rohingya refugees comprising members of 1673 families to visiting Myanmar Home Minister Lt. Gen. Kyaw Swe for repatriation in the first phase at a meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Friday afternoon.
He said Bangladesh has duly registered 10,60000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The Myanmar side at the meeting has assured taking all refugees in phases after verification of their identity in the light of 10-point programme both sides earlier agreed, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters after the meeting.  
In the meting, he said both sides mainly discussed issues how to ensure safe repatriation with dignity in the Rakhine state, in addition to running combined

operations on both sides of the border to check rapid spread of Yaba trafficking from Myanmar side of the border.
It also included meetings of the head of police forces of both the countries and the chief of border guards to apprise current situation in every three or six months, setting up boarder liaison office to take instant actions to solve instant problem and demarcation of the Naf River.
Myanmar earlier sought the list of refugees as family unit and after handing over the list yesterday, the Myanmar side said they would check the list and come up with their response.
The main issue however remained the need to create a congenial atmosphere and build confidence that Rohingyas will be treated fairly in safety and dignity and Myanmar would rebuild their homes and return lost business and property.
The Myanmar Minister is visiting Dhaka with a 12-member delegation to review the progress so far attained after signing the physical arrangement for repatriation on January 16 in the light of the initial MOU for repatriation signed on November 23
Rohingyas are reluctant to return to the Rakhine state without international guarantee for safety and the UNHCR and other human rights organization are equally pushing the issue on the table. Any progress in the repatriation process now depends on how Myanmar is going to address this basic issue.
How Myanmar should also stop the influx of drug trafficking across the boarder which is yet another big law and order issue as Yaba is now flooding Cox's Bazar area while the Myanmar government is doing nothing to stop it.
It has so far not paid heed to Bangladesh's demands to dismantle drug factories inside Myanmar border and evidence suggests organized groups from inside Myanmar are pushing the drug inside Bangladesh.
About repatriation Home Minister Asaduzzaman khan told reporters after the meeting, over 10 lakh Rohingyas entered Bangladesh so far. Out of them Bangladesh has handed over the first list from duly registered refugees to start repatriation. He said over 655,000 Rohingyas arrived into Bangladesh alone following violence in August last year.
The Home Minister said another meeting will take place on February 20 in Myanmar to finalize the return of 6,500 Rohingyas now stranded at zero point on Bangladesh Myanmar border. The Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar will visit Myanmar on that occasion to take part in the meeting.
The Minister said, "Myanmar officials have assured of taking back all the Rohingyas in phases after completion of verification. We have also asked them to take effective measures to stop new arrival of refugees, in addition to remove the stranded on the border," Kamal said.
Home Minister also said that they have also asked Myanmar to take effective measures to stop narcotics production and drug trafficking across the border.

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