Rohingya repatriation must follow, says Bangladesh on Myanmar coup

As the military in Myanmar seized power following a coup in the country, Bangladesh said the Rohingya repatriation agreement must be followed, irrespective of who holds power in Myanmar, The Daily Star reported

Feb 01, 2021
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As the military in Myanmar seized power following a coup in the country, Bangladesh said the Rohingya repatriation agreement must be followed, irrespective of who holds power in Myanmar, The Daily Star reported. 

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Monday that the agreement was signed between the State of Myanmar and Bangladesh, and it doesn’t matter who is in power, the agreement must be followed.

Reacting to the development, he said Bangladesh wanted peace, stability, and the democratic process will be upheld in the country.

“We have been persistent in developing mutually beneficial relations with Myanmar and have been working with Myanmar for the voluntary, safe, and sustained repatriation of the Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh. We expect these processes to continue in the right earnest,” BDnews24 quoted him as saying.

Bangladesh currently has around 1 million Rohingya refugees that fled Myanmar after its military cracked down in western Rakhine state in 2017. Since then, Bangladesh has been trying to repatriate the refugees with the help of the international community and China.

The agreement on Rohingya repatriation by the Myanmar civilian government is also being considered as one of the reasons behind the coup.

“There was increasing concern within the Tatmadaw ( Myanmar military) that it risked losing influence and autonomy over critical policy domains, including the peace process - which has made little progress in the past five years - as well as to a limited extent, external relation,” wrote Avinash Paliwal, a senior lecturer in the SOAS University of Landon, in a column in HT.

With the latest development, stakes are really high for Bangladesh that has been making consistent and steady efforts regarding the Rohingya refugees issue. The country is now pinning its hopes on Myanmar’s military that it would follow the existing understanding.

“You must remember that in the 1980s, '90s, the military was in power [in Myanmar], but we could repatriate Rohingyas," Momin said. 

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