• Friday, Dec 13, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:17 pm

Let them go home

  • Published at 12:03 am October 30th, 2019
Rohingya
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

The involvement of China in the process is a welcome addition to the discussions regarding repatriation

The Rohingya repatriation process has been delayed for the longest time.

Having said that, it is encouraging to see the formation of a tripartite forum -- with Bangladesh, China, and Myanmar -- to speed up the process.

It has been more than two years since the last Rohingya exodus into Bangladesh -- with the Rohingya population now over a million in refugee camps across the border -- and the necessity for repatriation has become more than imperative. 

There is little doubt that for successful repatriation, the responsibility, at the end of the day, lies in Myanmar’s hands.

Unfortunately, over the course of these two years, the Myanmar government has done little to make things easy, with continuous delays and deceit standing in the way of ensuring that the Rohingya are able to return to their homeland in Rakhine.

This is because it is up to Myanmar to ensure that an environment is created that is conducive to their return -- a bilateral agreement was signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2017 in this regard -- and that they return to their homeland with their rights secure and no more fear of oppression and persecution.

This is absolutely crucial.

The Rohingya have suffered immensely in Rakhine, fleeing murder, arson, and rape, amongst other acts of abuse, and if Myanmar is not willing to take a step towards convincing the rest of the world that this will no longer be the case, repatriation will remain an unfulfilled dream.

The involvement of China in the process is a welcome addition to the discussions regarding repatriation, and we hope it finally sets in motion a process which ensures that the Rohingya are able to return to their homeland with the dignity and safety that is ensured for all of their fellow citizens back in Myanmar.