Bangladesh preps to start voluntary Rohingya repatriation later this year

Bangladesh preps to start voluntary Rohingya repatriation later this year

IANS Photo

Dhaka, August 28 (IANS) Bangladesh is preparing to start safe and voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees to their homeland Myanmar later this year, initially with around 1,000 people, a senior government official said here.

"As part of confidence-building measures, a Bangladesh delegation is set to visit Myanmar next month while a team from Myanmar will be here soon to talk to the refugees," Xinhua news agency quoted Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen tas saying to reporters.

"We've prepared a list of over 3,000 Rohingya from whom we expect to send back 1,000 to Myanmar initially in or around December," he said.

He said the reduction of assistance for Rohingya, whose population is growing with around 30,000 newborns every year, is compounding the crisis in the refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently urged the international community to continue providing necessary humanitarian support till the sustainable repatriation.

More than 1 million displaced Rohingya from Myanmar are currently living Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, some 300 km southeast of the capital Dhaka, in some of the largest and most densely populated camps in the world. 

The UN has described the Rohingya as “the most persecuted minority in the world”.

More than half of all Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (52 per cent) are children, while 51 per cent are comprised of women and girls.

The current refugee population accounts for one-third of the total population in the Cox’s Bazar.

Since 2021, to decongest the 33 camps in Cox’s Bazar, nearly 30,000 refugees have been relocated to Bhasan Char island by the government of Bangladesh.