Dhaka – The process of repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims will begin in two months to end the Asian refugee crisis unfolded between Bangladesh and Myanmar, officials said Thursday.
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Union Minister of Myanmar U Kyaw Tint Swe signed the deal in Naypyidaw to more than 600,000 Rohingya who crossed into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar’s restive the Rakhine state.
Bangladesh foreign ministry in a statement said process will begin within two months and a joint working committee will be formed in three weeks’ time.
“A Joint Working Group will be established within three weeks of signing the ‘Arrangement’,” the statement said.
A specific bilateral instrument for repatriation will be concluded in a speedy manner, it added.
An estimated 620,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched crackdown on Muslim insurgents blamed for carrying out attacks on security posts in Rakhine state on August 25.
Civilians who crossed the border claimed they were brutalised by the Burmese military. The army and their Buddhist cohorts killed many Muslims and torched their homes.
The UN agency on human rights termed the atrocity a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.
Bangladesh and Myanmar also signed a protocol on demarcation of their boundary through a common river between the two next-door neighbours.
“Supplementary Protocol on the demarcation of a fixed boundary in the Naaf River” was agreed earlier in 2007, the foreign ministry said.
The two countries also exchanged the “Instrument of Ratification” of the Agreement on demarcation of the land section of the boundary north of the Naaf River” concluded in 1998.
Naaf river separated Bangladesh from Myanmar.