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Is Repatriation a Best Option for Rohingyas Now?

Is Repatriation a Best Option for Rohingyas Now?


Motherland is constantly to every single individual in the globe like heaven. Everyone is aware of the fundamental differences between living in his/her country of origin and abroad. A person may live a comfortable life financially abroad, but he or she cannot have the same mental advantages as in his or her own country. The mother of all mothers is Motherland. It is very rare to meet someone who does not adore their mother. A child is nothing more than the flesh and blood of a mother.

It is a bond that develops naturally beginning on the first day a child grows inside the womb of a mother. It doesn’t matter whether a mother is wealthy or not; this is the reality.

Even though they were forced to flee their nation six years ago as a result of the persecution and violence carried out by the Myanmar military in collaboration with local Buddhist extremists, I think the Rohingya people still retain the same affections and sentiments for their motherland, Myanmar. They have since migrated to Bangladesh forcibly. They should be aware that returning to their home land as soon as possible would be the best course of action for their future generation as well as to establish their rights.

Though we have very weak arguments to trust Myanmar that it will sincerely cooperate in the repatriation of the Rohingya; at least, we can hope that the Rohingya, who are going back to their ancestors’ lands, would find a secured life there in all respects. May this opening of the door serve as an inspiration and an encouragement for the surviving Rohingya to return to their homes and live there in safety and dignity. We are aware that Bangladesh made every effort to facilitate the return. However, that was not possible.

The highly anticipated repatriation of Rohingyas added another tale last week. In actuality, concerning the role that the international community, including the United Nations, is playing in the game of repatriating Myanmar, we are also torn. Instead of the clear blue sky, we see a completely cloudy sky devoid of any possibility of sunshine.

In the meantime, the Rohingya delegation made different statements after seeing the preparations and environment in Myanmar around Rohingya repatriation. Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (Joint Secretary) Mohammad Mizanur Rahman along with seven members of various organizations including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Rohingya delegation expressed hope for the good environment there and Rohingya repatriation. However, 20 Rohingyas in the delegation visited Maungdoo Model Village in Rakhine State and said that there is no environment and conditions to return there. The two different statements of the same delegation have raised questions – is the initiative to return the Rohingyas to Myanmar on the road to failure? Will the Rohingya repatriation initiative be successful at all?

A large number of Rohingyas took refuge in Bangladesh after August 25, 2017 after being forcibly displaced from Myanmar. At present, the number of Rohingyas registered in 33 shelter camps in Ukhia and Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar is 1.25 million. In addition to being a big burden, Rohingya in Bangladesh is becoming a socio-economic threat along with security. In such a reality, the international community came forward with humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas, but did not take any effective steps to repatriate them to their own country. Before the arrival of this year’s monsoon season, Bangladesh has prepared about 1,200 Rohingyas who have been verified in the first step. After the Rohingya delegation visited Myanmar, the people concerned are again in doubt about repatriation. Twice earlier, China-mediated efforts to repatriate Rohingyas failed due to reluctance.

The Bangladesh government is continuing discussions with all possible people with the aim of speedy repatriation of Rohingyas. As part of this, the Rohingya delegation came to see the situation in Rakhine State under the ‘Go and See’ initiative of tripartite talks mediated by China. Earlier, a Myanmar delegation visited Teknaf last March. Then in April, Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masoud bin Momen attended the tripartite meeting in Kunming, China.

Meanwhile, Yao Wen, the Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, said in response to questions from reporters at a seminar titled ‘Bangladesh-China Relations: Future Forecast’ held in the capital on Saturday, China is steadily mediating between Bangladesh and Myanmar to speed up the repatriation of Rohingyas with responsibility.

Commenting that Rohingya is not a bilateral issue between China and Bangladesh, he added that as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China is working hard to play the role of mediator and facilitator. Hopefully, Bangladesh and Myanmar will repatriate with the support of the international community.

We are aware that a number of NGOs are operating there under various guises and philosophies with the same goal of aiding the Rohingyas. Helping them is quite OK; they are free to do so. However, it is believed that all administration and management should be done in a coordinated manner under the control of the government in conjunction with the relevant UN organizations. To ensure the efficient operation of all matters, including our internal security, there must be some discipline.

Additionally, Rohingyas have been observed participating in anti-social and criminal activities such prostitution, drug trafficking, extortion, and murder. Locals feel unsafe since they are becoming more violent and uncontrollable by the day. If the Rohingyas remain there for a longer period of time, it is possible that the local population will one day become refugees in their own country.

The issues of ecological or environmental harm that has already been done in that area are not ones we wish to bring up here. The total situation needs to be thoroughly examined in order to determine the best course of action, which may include moving to a safer region away from the community.

On the other side, Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang has reiterated Beijing’s offer to mediate between Myanmar and Bangladesh in “improving” their bilateral ties in China’s latest attempt to both project itself as a negotiator in global conflicts and emerge as a key player in India’s neighbourhood.

The stability of Rakhine State is crucial to protect China’s interests in Myanmar. If these Rohingyas and Rakhines are given opportunities to acquire various benefits and skills, they will be useful to the Chinese. Myanmar junta is also playing Rohingya card. The junta is tired with the ongoing ethnic clash. It is positive that junta has agreed to take back the Rohingyas. It is an opportunity for the Rohingyas. It is the best option for Rohingyas to go back to Myanmar. But any kind of junta trap in the Rohingya repatriation can lose trust anyhow this time.

The Western world has not put much pressure on resolving the Rohingya crisis and repatriating them to Myanmar. They are talking about various decisions including economic sanctions. But the reality is that their words have only served as ‘lip service’, they have no practical application. We have always said that China’s role and cooperation in solving the Rohingya crisis is very important. If China is proactive, this crisis can be resolved quickly. Bangladesh government should take the initiative of tripartite agreement with China as well as Myanmar. Finally, the government has started walking on that path. This is very positive and is gradually paving the way to solving the crisis. Myanmar has a multidimensional historical relationship with China. China has been providing extensive cooperation in the country’s agriculture, industry and trade. Despite Myanmar’s internal conflict and civil war, economic ties between the two countries are

Finally, we’d like to mention a few things that the situation in the Rohingya camps is complex and multi-faceted, with various factors contributing to the potential threat that Rohingyas may pose to the peace and security of Bangladesh and South Asia. The foreign aid is declining. The focus shifting of the global attention is also a point, (Afghanistan and Ukraine issues). The program might be considered as the beginning of the long-overdue repatriation, which might inspire more people to return home in the future. But we must remember that this is just the beginning. More people will follow and go back to their ancestral homes if the plan succeeds. The presence of militant organizations, the involvement of extremist groups, the vulnerability to criminal exploitation, the small-arms trade, and the geopolitical tensions in the region are all factors that need to be addressed comprehensively to mitigate the potential security risks associated with the Rohingya crisis. It is essential for all stakeholders to work towards finding sustainable solutions that address the grievances of Rohingyas and ensure their safety, security, and well-being, while also addressing the security concerns and challenges posed by the situation in the camps.

Following the coup in 2021 and the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Myanmar military is under intense international pressure to support democratic movements. The Myanmar military may profit in the long run if it takes the initiative to return Rohingyas to Myanmar. Myanmar should end its conflict with Bangladesh as soon as feasible in order to maintain regional stability. Otherwise, the Myanmar military could face calamity. Myanmar will not be able to withstand international pressure. Myanmar could profit from bilaterally settling the conflict with Bangladesh by reinforcing trade relations if the crisis is resolved. As a result, it is in Myanmar’s military’s best interests to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The message is clear: Rohingya refugees do not want to remain in Bangladesh as refugees and do not tolerate Myanmar military injustice.

It is high time that the global community stops shirking responsibility, and that collective efforts with China must be applied on Myanmar to start the repatriation process so that the Rohingya can safely go back home. While this indicates that efforts from the international community have been effective to some extent, it is essential that the community does not take its foot off the pedal until Myanmar authorities live up to their responsibility of creating a safe environment for the return of the refugees, and completely end the persecution campaign against the Rohingya. It is also important to remember that Myanmar has backtracked on most of its previous commitments. Therefore, there is no reason to take its words at face value unless there are substantial actions taken to back them.

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