Myanmar authorities said on Tuesday that they are ready to initiate a gradual repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh despite an announcement of delay by Dhaka due to incomplete preparations.
Speaking at a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye said Myanmar will receive the verified returnees at Taung Pyo Letwe and Nga Khu Ya reception centres. He said that the Hla Pho Kaung will be the transit camp for the returnees.
Asked that why no displaced people were sent back yet from the Bangladesh side on the designated Tuesday, the minister replied that coordination will continue with the other side’s working group on the repatriation process for further action, Xinhua reported.
In accordance with the deal on the repatriation reached between the two countries on January 16, Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed to repatriate the refugees under a physical plan starting on Tuesday.
The crisis erupted on August 25 following an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group that led to a violent response by the Myanmar Army in the state of Rakhine, where it is calculated that around 1 million Rohingyas lived.
Members of the mostly Muslim minority community are not recognised by Myanmar’s authorities, who consider them Bengali migrants, and refuse to grant them citizenship.
The UN and various human rights organisations have said there is clear evidence of rights abuses in Myanmar with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling the Army’s operations “ethnic cleansing” and saying there were indications of “genocide”.