Myanmar And Bangladesh Agree To 2-Yr Timeframe For Rohingya Return

Russia welcomes agreements on return of refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar

Rohingya leaders make a list of demands before repatriation process begins: Reuters

"We have proposed to repatriate 15,000 Rohingyas every week but they [Myanmar] did not agree to it", Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Sufiur Rahman said Tuesday, .

"We expect constructive cooperation between Naypyidaw and Dhaka to continue in order to resolve the remaining issues, as we also expect other interested countries to facilitate this process based on respect for national sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs, which is what Russian Federation has been calling for", the statement says.

The Bangladesh statement called for repatriating orphans and "children born out of unwarranted incidence", a reference to cases of rape resulting in pregnancy, said a Bangladesh foreign ministry official who declined to be identified. Among them is a demand that the Myanmar government publicly announce that it is giving the Rohingyas citizenship - which they have always been denied.

The briefing comes ahead of the planned start of the repatriation process on Jan 23 following an agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar on Nov 23.

"We want safe zones in Arakan [Rakhine] before repatriation", Mohibullah, a refugee and former teacher told Agence France-Presse (AFP) by phone from Cox's Bazar, where the camps are located.

The latest followed deadly co-ordinated attacks by ARSA in late August which sparked an army crackdown that sent 655,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.

Also, they have been long persecuted by the Buddhists and the security forces. "How come the discussions ignore the deprivation of rights of people held in indefinite detention, which is what these so-called "temporary" accommodations may become?", Robertson asked.

She assured of United States support to Bangladesh to complete the process.

Another resident of the Kutupalong camp compared the new transit camps to ones set up near the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe following bouts of violence in previous years "where people are living like prisoners". They are also asking that their homes, mosques and schools that were burned down or damaged in the military operation be rebuilt. The minister said Myanmar agreed to involve the UNHCR when it's necessary but not now. "Even if I don't get food or anything else here, at least there is safety".

Many Rohingya have expressed fears about going back to Burma.

Lakhs of Rohingya have since fled to Bangladesh, where they have been living in cramped refugee camps. "They [Myanmar] have taken some preparations for the Rohingyas".

Most of the 6,55,500 Rohingya refugees are staying at this camp.

"As Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in Dhaka, 'Paas Paas Saath Saath (We are together as neighbours)', in the last four decades, since Bangladesh's independence, our ties with India have flourished in depth and dimension".

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