Rohingya: Myanmar And Bangladesh Sign Deal To Repatriate Refugees

November 25, 2017

Bangladesh will return to Myanmar refugees who fled ethnic violence in Rakhine state earlier this year, according to officials in both countries. More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees are living in overstretched refugee camps in Bangladesh.

"The return shall commence within two months," Bangladesh announced in a statement on Thursday. Myint Kyaing — a permanent secretary at Myanmar's ministry of labor, immigration and population — said the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding to repatriate Rohingya refugees. "We are ready to take them back as soon as possible after Bangladesh sends the forms back to us," she told Reuters.

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with Bangladesh's foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Thursday to sign the deal on the status of the Rohingya, as international pressure mounts on both countries. They have struggled to agree on how many of the Rohingya living in Bangladesh's overcrowded refugee camps should be repatriated back to Myanmar. "This is a primary step," Ali said. "[They] will take back [Rohingya]. Now we have to start working."


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