Bangladesh, Myanmar Officials Visit Rohingya Trapped at Border

Rohingya children allegedly facing racial segregation in Rakhine schools

Bangladesh hands refugee list to Myanmar to begin repatriation

Rakhine state officials said the action of the refugees at zero line are politically motivated to create worldwide pressure.

Bangladesh has provided Myanmar with a list of more than 8,000 mostly Rohingya refugees to have their backgrounds checked prior to their return, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced Saturday, after a almost one-month delay in the repatriation process.

Presidential spokesman Joynal Abedin said Friday that Myanmars Home Minister Kyaw Swe told President Abdul Hamid in Dhaka that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal signed by the countries late previous year.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an arrangement in November previous year on return of displaced persons from Bangladesh fleeing Rakhine conflict, based on the joint statement signed by foreign ministers of the two countries in 1992 which guides the systematic verification and acceptance of displaced persons from Rakhine state.

Bangladesh and Myanmar officials are discussing the issue of repatriation of some 6,500 Rohingyas living in no-man's land near Tambru along the border.

The recent violence erupted after an underground insurgent group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, attacked security outposts in Rakhine in late-August previous year. But Bangladesh delayed the process while tensions were rising in the Cox's Bazar camps and as some critics of the deal voiced concerns over the lack of security guarantees for those who would return. Grandi also said refugees are still fleeing Myanmar and thousands more are expected to leave. According to government statistics, an average of 75 Rohingya fled their villages each day between January 1 and February 15.

Bangladesh's Kalam said there was no timeline for repatriations, that anyone going back must do so voluntarily and that Myanmar must provide a safe environment for their return. "The (Myanmar) delegation received it very cordially and told us they would start processing their repatriation", said Khan.

Myanmar has said it will accept back people holding "national verification" registration cards. "The Myanmar side has agreed to take that responsibility". Speaking to Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid, he said Myanmar is ready to implement the recommendations of a panel led by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan and also accept the refugees.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar denied the charge and says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against "terrorists" it blames for the attacks on the security forces. The United Nations and the USA have described the army crackdown as "ethnic cleansing".

The Rohingya have always been treated as outsiders in Myanmar, even though their families have lived in the country for generations. "They are willing to go back, but seek safety and citizenship right", Kalam added.

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