MYANMAR, BANGLADESH SEEK TO RESOLVE ISSUE OF STRANDED REFUGEES

YANGON, Myanmar and Bangladesh are cooperating to resolve the issue of refugees stranded at ‘zero line’ during the repatriation from Bangladesh, Myanmar News Agency reported Wednesday.

Both sides vowed at their border authorities’ meeting at Taung Pyo Letwe, Rakhine state Tuesday to offer assistance in sending the refugees camping at ‘zero line’ back home.

Some international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) went into the ‘zero line’ area under their own arrangement to provide aid to the refugees.

Known as no man’s land, ‘zero line’ is an undeveloped area on the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh that has recently become homes for refugees who rejected to participate in the repatriation.

Rakhine state officials claimed the action of refugees at ‘zero line’ are politically motivated to create international pressure.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an arrangement in November last year on the return of displaced persons from Bangladesh fleeing the Rakhine conflict

The two countries also agreed to establish border liaison offices in Maungtaw in northern Rakhine and Tak Naf in Bangladesh.

On Jan 23, Myanmar voiced its readiness to to receive displaced persons repatriated from Bangladesh.

They would receive the verified returnees at Taung Pyo Letwe and Nga Khu Ya reception centres while Hla Pho Kaung will be a transit camp for the returnees.

A committee was established in Sept last year to implement the recommendations of the final report of the advisory commission, led by former United Nations secretary-seneral Kofi Annan.

The government has also invited the local and international community to assist in the rebuilding and resettlement efforts for conflict-torn Rakhine state.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army launched attacks on police outposts in Rakhine on Aug 25 last year, displacing residents from several areas in Maungtaw region.

Source: NAM News Network