Web Desk(February 13, 2018): Bangladesh has signed a deal to involve the United Nations in the controversial process of returning Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
Talking to reporters, Junior foreign minister Shahriar Alam said the government was involving the UN refugee agency so that it could not be accused of sending anyone from the stateless Muslim minority back against their will.
He gave few details but said refugees would be asked to fill out repatriation forms in the presence of UN officials.
Bangladesh reached a deal with Myanmar late last year to repatriate the nearly 700,000 Rohingya who has fled across the border since August to escape a brutal military crackdown.On the other hand, two ethnic armed groups in Myanmar signed a ceasefire with the government on Tuesday, as leader Aung San Suu Kyi seeks to revive a stuttering peace process to end decades of conflict.
Ending near-perpetual civil war has been Suu Kyi’s stated top priority, but the Buddhist-majority country has seen the worst fighting with rebels in years since she took office almost two years ago.
The peace process, which has been eclipsed in media coverage by the plight of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh from violence in the northwest, is key to unlocking the resource-rich country’s potential and guaranteeing development for its more than 50 million people.