Bangladesh and Myanmar Agree to Complete Rohingya Return in Two Years

Bangladesh and Myanmar Agree to Complete Rohingya Return in Two Years

"We will be, of course, ready to do everything possible, to support a movement taking place, as I said, based on voluntariness, safety, dignity, and in respect to worldwide standards", he said, adding that the United Nations or its UNHRC was not involved in the agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the issue.

As per the arrangements, Myanmar will begin taking back the Rohingyas subject to verification from January 23 and will shelter them in a transit camp before Myanmar authorities build houses for them.

"The worst would be to move these people from camps in Bangladesh to camps in Myanmar, keeping an artificial situation for a long time and not allowing for them to regain their normal lives", said Guterres, who was previously the head of UNHCR for 10 years.

Myanmar stressed the need for both sides to take preventive measures against possible Rohingya attacks and said it gave Dhaka a list with the names of 1,000 alleged militants.

The UN and rights groups have urged the Burmese government to ensure the safe and voluntary return of the Rohingya refugees.

The UN refugee agency said it is not involved in the process but is willing to play a "constructive role" in the process if allowed, specifically in registering the refugees and helping determining whether they are returning to Burma voluntarily.

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The World Food Program (WFP) also highlighted the concerns about food insecurity and undernutrition in Rakhine state in bordering Myanmar - home to a large Rohingya population - especially for the health of women and children.

In relation to the agreement, the UN Secretary General said, usually, this is dealt with in trilateral agreements between the two states concerned and the UNHCR.

The incident on August 25 led to a violent military operation in Myanmar against the alleged insurgents, triggering a humanitarian crisis as at least 650,000 people from the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority community fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The meeting that concluded on Tuesday in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw was the first for a joint working group set up to hammer out the details of the November repatriation agreement.

US-based Human Rights Watch said the discussions between Myanmar and Bangladesh failed to include any understanding of what the Rohingya want. "Why are basic issues like citizenship, freedom of movement and livelihoods not discussed now so refugees can make informed choices?"