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Bangladesh, Myanmar begin talks on Rohingya crisis

News Agencies | Updated on: 22 November 2017, 16:43 IST

Bangladesh and Myanmar on 22 November began talks on starting the repatriation process of the Rohingya refugees.

According to The Daily Star, the long pending talks began with an expectation of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) enabling both countries to start the repatriation process of all the Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their homeland Myanmar.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque leading the delegation as the talks began between the senior officials of the two countries.

The final meeting between Bangladesh Foreign Minister Minister AH Mahmood Ali and the Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will take place in Naypyidaw on Thursday.

"If things go well at the meeting, both sides will sign the MoU on Thursday," a Bangladesh official said.

A study prepared by the New York-based Amnesty International charged the Government of Myanmar with promoting and practicing a form of "apartheid" against the Rohingya population in that country's northern Rakhine state.

In its study, Amnesty said that this suffocating control of the Rohingya population amounts to "apartheid", even as it continues with its probe into the root causes of a crisis that has sent 620,000 refugees fleeing to Bangladesh and other countries in the South Asian region.

There is global outrage over the distressing plight of dispossessed Rohingya in Bangladeshi camps currently. A majority of them left the Rakhine state at the end of August this year, recounting incidents of murder, rape and arson at the hands of the Myanmar Army.

Till now, Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed in principle to repatriate some Rohingyas, but are in disagreement over the details.

More than 5,00,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar security forces launched an operation in response to the alleged attacks by militants on August 25 against 30 police posts and a regimental headquarters.

In October, Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali had said that a total of 3,000 Rohingya refugees were killed since the army crackdown.

On October 12, a United Nations' report based on interviews conducted in Bangladesh found that brutal attacks against Rohingyas in the northern Rakhine state have been well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving the population out of Myanmar, but preventing them from returning to their homes.

The Rakhine state is home to the Rohingya community of Myanmar, ethnic Muslims, who have long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the extremists. 


First published: 22 November 2017, 16:43 IST