According to a bilateral instrument signed by Bangladesh, and Myanmar on November 23, 2017, the repatriation was supposed to begin within January 22, 2018, and to be complete by January 22, 2020. But, not a single Rohingya is yet to be repatriated
Following two failed attempts, Bangladesh will not make a third one to begin the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas sheltered in Cox’s Bazar, without the confirmation of success, concerned officials said.
However, none of them could say as to when the condition may be created to make the third repatriation attempt.
The officials also told Dhaka Tribune that the second attempt on August 22 was made in a hurried manner due to the eagerness of China.
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The transfer of former Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Abul Kalam and several camp-in-charges (CICs) in the wake of the failed repatriation, and August 25 rally could have been handled better, as this has exposed Bangladesh’s ‘weakness’ to Myanmar, they added.
“We are not going to make any attempt before being sure that the repatriation will actually happen. Even if the repatriation starts in a small scale, that will be a good thing,” said a senior foreign ministry official with a thorough knowledge of the issue.
When asked about a possible date for the beginning of the repatriation, he said: “You know Myanmar is a difficult neighbour that changes goalpost very often. Therefore, no specific date can even be thought about.”
“There is no point in making another attempt to begin the repatriation before knowing of its success. We, with the help of other countries, including China, are trying to convince Myanmar to create a favourable condition for the return of the displaced Rohingyas,” said another senior official deeply engaged with the crisis.