Bangladesh to verify Myanmar’s claim of ‘voluntary’ Rohingya repatriation

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Bangladesh will verify Myanmar’s claim over voluntary nature of some Rohingyas to Myanmar as Myanmar keeps spreading misleading information to the international community to avoid repatriation.

“We will issue a press statement after verifying the claim,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters on Thursday, reports UNB.

The Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka in a Facebook post claimed 46 displaced persons returned to Myanmar from Bangladesh on their own volition through TaungPyoLetwe and NgaKhuYa Reception Centers on Thursday.

Myanmar claimed that the returnees were warmly received by the officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, and Ministry of Labour, Population and Immigration, and other officials concerned.

Myanmar also claimed that a total of 397 displaced persons have voluntarily returned from Bangladesh to Myanmar till date and they were duly provided with rice, cooking oil and foodstuff monthly by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

A diplomatic source said the UNHCR and the officials at the RRRC are not aware of such voluntary return.

On Wednesday, Bangladesh accused Myanmar of remaining engaged in a “persistent campaign” to mislead the international community to avoid its obligations for “sustained repatriation” and reintegration of the Rohingyas.

Dhaka also rejected “baseless accusations, falsification, and misrepresentation of facts” by Nay Pyi Taw, and urged it to stop concocted campaign and concentrate on the fulfillment of its obligations.

“Myanmar must act decisively to address the real causes that are preventing the displaced Rohingya from going back voluntarily,” the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said it was a “matter of utter dismay” to witness such tenacious campaign with fabricated information, misrepresentation of facts, unsubstantiated claims and undue accusations on part of Myanmar to mislead the international community.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas who have fled their homeland in Rakhine State after being persecuted by their own country.

Myanmar did not take back a single Rohingya from Bangladesh over the last two years.

Two repatriation attempts were unsuccessful as Myanmar “failed to remove trust deficit” among the Rohingyas and there was “lack of conducive environment” in Rakhine for their return.

Bangladesh said Myanmar should seriously consider a comprehensive participation of the international community in creating conducive environment for the return as well as in the monitoring of repatriation and reintegration process.

“Myanmar should also cooperate with the international community to eliminate the culture of impunity for the sake of a durable solution to the protracted problem,” the Foreign Ministry said.

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