(UPDATE) MYANMAR’S RESETTLEMENT OF RETURNEES FROM BANGLADESH IN PROGRESS

YANGON, Myanma June 2 (NNN-Xinhua) — Myanmar has recently received the first batch of 62 returnees in Rakhine state, who had fled to Bangladesh due to the Rakhine conflict.

The returnees include 58 persons pardoned by the Myanmar president and four others lifted from prosecution.

They had first returned by their own arrangement, ignoring the official procedure, and thus arrested by the Myanmar authorities earlier.

However, pardoned by the president, they were brought to the reception camp on last weekend.

In accordance with the Myanmar-Bangladesh agreement, those returnees were being transferred to the Hla Pho Khaung transit camp in Maungtaw after proper verification.

Myanmar and Bangladesh reached an agreement on the arrangement concerning the return of displaced people from Rakhine state in November last year.

The Myanmar side has made arrangements to receive returnees by establishing two reception centers. Resettlement arrangement of the returnees is underway following the return of the first 62 refugees who are being issued with national verification cards (NVC) and then received citizenship scrutiny in accordance with law.

The authorities are also making arrangements to send all returnees to their places of origin as the next step.

According to a statement of the State Counselor’s Office Friday, Myanmar, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have initiated a memorandum of understanding to assist the Myanmar government in implementing the arrangement on return of displaced persons from Rakhine state, signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh on Nov. 23, 2017.

The UN agencies will cooperate with the government for the repatriation of the displaced persons, who have been duly verified so that they can return voluntarily in safety and dignity.

Under the MoU, the UN agencies have been invited to take part in various stages of return and resettlement and to support access to livelihood.

In the process of issuing the NVC in Rakhine state, the issuance is said to identify the persons residing within jurisdiction of the country and they are supposed to undergo scrutiny process or waiting for such verification procedure under the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law.

The government clarified in the parliament that NVC is the first and foremost document to hold on the scrutiny process on the path to enjoy citizenship rights of Myanmar.

To create job opportunities, garment factories and traditional weaving business have been established in Rakhine state with the help of the government which also assisted the local development of communication, agriculture and health sectors.

Moreover, more than 800 houses and infrastructures of roads, water and power supply are under construction under the programs of the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine.

Infrastructures were also built to accommodate the returnees from Bangladesh under the repatriation program, senior officials told the parliament, adding that NVC holders will get rights for free movement in the whole nation but be in accordance with the rules, regulations and directives issued by the Rakhine state government.

A government-appointed Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, released its final report with 88 recommendations in August 2017, which were being implemented by the Committee for the Implementation, headed by the Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army extremist terrorists launched attacks on police outposts in Rakhine State in August last year, displacing a vast number of residents to border areas with Bangladesh. — NNN-XINHUA

Source: NAM News Network