Intensify diplomatic efforts to make Rohingya repatriation process successful

MEDIA report said that Bangladesh, China and Myanmar have agreed to form a “tripartite joint working mechanism” to evaluate the situation on the ground for Rohingya repatriation. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen came up with development after a joint meeting with his Chinese and Myanmar counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday. Dr Momen said that Myanmar agreed with the Chinese proposal though it had some objections initially at the meeting. The first meeting of the tripartite working body is likely to be held in October.
It’s a good news, no doubt. Any move for speeding up Rohingya repatriation is welcome. But we’ve to keep it in mind that two attempts of Rohingya repatriation have failed as the Rohingyas are unwilling to go back to their ancestral homes seeking security, safety and national identity in Rakhine State. At present, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 being drive out by Myanmar military.
Though Chinese involvement in Rohingya repatriation process was highly expecting from Bangladesh side, we didn’t see any serious step in this regard. Not only that, the United Nations Security Councils’ several moves to increase pressure on Myanmar to bring back its nationals from Bangladesh went futile for China’s objections. Even, the ‘credible and transparent investigations’ of human rights violations against Rohingya Muslim minority could not be done for the same reason. Rather, China’s draft statement in the UNSC stressed ‘the need to address the root causes of the issue,” and called for investment in Rakhine State to “achieve stability through development.”  
China has huge economic interests in Myanmar along with a desire for political influence in a country with which it shares a 1,500-mile border. China is engaged in building a massive port in the south of Rakhine and pipelines running through the strategically important state. For different geopolitical reasons, China has become a central external player in both Myanmar’s peace process and internal affairs in general.
In particular on Rohingya repatriation process, we must say depending on any single source will not be wise for Bangladesh. Dhaka must intensify its diplomatic efforts to involve other powerful countries and UN to make the repatriation process effective.

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