Dhaka, Naypyidaw accuse each other of hampering Rohingya repartition to their homeland

Desperate Rohingya refugees use home-made rafts to get to Bangladesh – UN |  | UN News

Bangladesh has accused Myanmar of conducting a “disinformation campaign” to hamper Rohingya repatriation from their camps in Bangladesh to Rakhine state. Speaking on the occasion of the 75th foundation day of the  U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, September 29 Myanmar Minister of the State Counselor’s Office Kyaw Tint said that Bangladesh should do more to stop the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) from interfering with the “bilateral repatriation process. ”Both the terrorist group ARSA and the terrorist insurgent group AA have used Bangladeshi territory as a sanctuary,” Kyaw Tint Swe said. “Efforts to prevent ARSA and its supporters in the camps of Cox’s Bazar from hampering the bilateral repatriation process, through threats, violence or other illegal conduct, also need to be strengthened as such activities pose a risk to both Bangladesh and Myanmar, ”he added. Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and Faruk Khan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, have taken exception to  Kyaw Tint Swe’s statement in the 193-world body. “Myanmar’s allegation that ARSA and Arakan Army have used Bangladesh territory as a sanctuary is a disinformation campaign to hamper the process of repatriation of the Rohingya living in Bangladesh. We vehemently reject this allegation,” Momen told BenarNews. Myanmar officials have stalled efforts to repatriate the Rohingya from camps in and around Cox’s Bazar back to their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Momen added. Nearly 740,000 of the minority Muslims fled to Bangladesh during the military crackdown in August 2017 in retaliation to ARSA attacks on Myanmar police and army posts that killed nine. ’We are ready to send the Rohingya back to their place of origin  but Myanmar is not taking them back. Myanmar must improve the conditions in Rakhine state so that the Rohingya feel secure to return to their homeland,” Momen said. While Bangladesh and Myanmar officials signed an agreement in November 2017 to begin the process of returning the Rohingya in early 2018, there had been no movement since, said Khan .“From the very beginning, Myanmar has been trying to portray the whole Rohingya community as terrorists. They have been continuing such campaigns at the bilateral level and multilateral forums,” Khan told BenarNews. We strongly condemn such an unfounded negative campaign. “Kyaw Tint Swe said Myanmar remained committed to having the Rohingya return.” Bilateral cooperation is the only way that can effectively resolve the repatriation issue between Myanmar and Bangladesh. May I say this – should Bangladesh commit itself to the bilateral process it will find Myanmar a willing partner,” he said in his U.N. speech. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal praised his country’s border guard force for maintaining security and said the country had a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of terrorism. “We categorically assert that the terrorist groups such as ARSA and Arakan Army do not get any indulgence from Bangladesh. There is no presence of ARSA and Arakan Army in Bangladesh,” he told BenarNews. Hasina government and police sources in February have acknowledged that they had arrested “several” of the insurgents in the previous months. BenarNews interviewed a self-proclaimed ARSA member in the Kutupalong refugee camp in November 2017. He reportedly said that at least 150 insurgents were living in the camps at the time. Southeast Asia security analyst Zachary Abuza, has  rubbished Myanmar’s allegations “preposterously overblown.” Abuza, who is a professor at National War College in Washington, is also a columnist for BenarNews.“ARSA  was never much beyond a small, ragtag, poorly armed militant group with a twitter account. There is no evidence that Bangladeshi forces or nationals are actively arming or training them,” he told BenarNews. He drew a contrast between ARSA and the Arakan Army. “The Arakanese are recognized citizens, in the ways that the Rohingya are not,” he said. “That will always open up avenues for a negotiated settlement, though the government’s track record in implementing peace accords with ethnic rebel groups is terrible. (Edited by PK Chakravarty. Pic Courtesy to UN News-United Nations).

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