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22 July, 2018 12:19:27 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 July, 2018 10:35:52 AM
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No progress in sight even after six months

New arrivals from Myanmar still continue
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
No progress in sight even after six months

Six months into the January 21, 2018 deadline to start repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh, no sign is visible from the Myanmar side yet to act according to a deal signed between the two sides.Let alone the beginning of the return, no one even can make a guess as to when the repatriation of the world’s most persecuted community will be able to get back to their homes with safety, dignity and sustainability in accordance with the deal.

The deal was signed on November 22, 2017 between Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and a minister attached to the office of the Myanmar’s state counsellor and country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the repatriation of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, who have crossed in Cox’s Bazar since October, 2016.

According to the agreement, the repatriation will begin within two months since the signing (January 21) and the Myanmar authorities will stop the influx of Rohingyas and create a favourable condition so that the persecuted people can return to their homes.

Yesterday marked the end of six months of the deadline to begin the repatriation of the persecuted Rohingyas sheltering in Cox’s Bazar to escape the atrocities orchestrated by the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist mobs and people from other ethnic groups in Rakhine.

But, the repatriation never began. On the contrary, Rohingyas still keep coming to Bangladesh, which is the world’s one of the largest host to displaced people.

And, to make the matter even worse, the secretary to a committee for the implementation of recommendations of Annan commission has recently resigned. Thai national Kobsak Chutikul, a retired ambassador and former member of parliament resigned on July 10 citing lack of progress of the committee, which was meant to advise the government how to implement the recommendations of the commission headed by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. The news of his resignation was not made public

instantly. The resignation of the secretary has been described by senior diplomats of the country is yet another reflection of Myanmar’s unwillingness to resolve the ongoing crisis at least for the time being.

No one including Bangladeshi government officials, diplomats and the United Nations, which has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Myanmar government on the return of the Rohingyas does seem to have any answer as to when these people will start returning to their homes in Myanmar.

Although nobody has any tentative date for the beginning of the repatriation, all are talking about middle and long term humanitarian operations to look after the Rohingyas indicating that any development is unlikely in near future.

Few days back, the UN itself admitted that it did not have any update on the return of the Rohingyas.

When Bangladeshi officials and diplomats were contacted about the issue related to the beginning of the repatriation, they had a very short answer. And, that is that they simply do not know.

“I wish I knew,” a top government official told The Independent, adding, “Forget about the repatriation for now because people are still coming from the other side of the border.”

“I don’t think anyone can say as the whole thing depends on the government of Myanmar and it’s very difficult to deal with them,” said a senior diplomat.

“The intention of our second neighbour has never been good,” said another diplomat, adding that against the backdrop of reality ‘the ball is not in Bangladesh’s court’.

To a question, the diplomats said that however frustrating the situation is, Dhaka has no choice but to remain engaged with Myanmar.

About the resignation of the secretary to the implementation committee, the diplomats said that this is another example of the unwillingness of the Myanmar government to resolve the issue at least for now.

This is not the first time that any international figure resigned from the panel, they pointed out.

Earlier, person like Bill Richardson also resigned, they reminded.

IK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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