Beijing has allowed a series of meetings between Myanmar and Bangladesh and has made it clear that it wants to see it move. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted a secondary meeting between Myanmar, Bangladesh and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his special envoy at the September General Assembly, during which Bangladesh`s foreign minister pledged to begin repatriation “soon.” “China facilitates informal meeting with the United Nations to expedite the refugee repatriation process,” The Irrawaddy, October 1, 2018.Hide Footnote Chinese Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi also met with Bangladeshi officials just before the Myanmar-Bangladesh meeting on October 30. The social, political and strategic impact of this crisis in Bangladesh is complex at all levels. Host communities – neglected by Dhaka at the best of times – are already feeling the burden. While there is no disagreement in political and political circles about the intransigence of the crisis, there is a widespread reluctance to acknowledge it, as it would poorly reflect the Bangladeshi government`s ability to protect its sovereignty and could be interpreted as a tacit acceptance of ethnic cleansing. Public sympathy for the Rohingya will not last forever and the current situation is likely to develop in unpredictable ways. After the December elections, the next government (probably the same as the current government) will have to make difficult decisions in the longer term. This issue will be discussed in detail in an upcoming report. The most important aspect of UNHCR`s role is that it must decide whether it promotes or facilitates repatriation on the basis of the circumstances and guarantees obtained. Depending on the approach adopted, specific obligations to refugees vary. Bangladesh said the repatriation of Rohingya refugees would not begin as planned, referring to the urgent need for preparation. The agreed return plan calls for the repatriation of 750,000 refugees to Myanmar during a two-year dispute.
Over the past eight months, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar`s military operations in northern Rakhine state indiscriminately and brutally and have reached tens of thousands of people who left the country in early 2017, and many more years earlier. The two countries have agreed on a procedural framework for voluntary repatriation, but no Rohingya have returned and few continue to flee. The burden of the crisis may have shifted to Bangladesh, but the responsibility remains directly in Myanmar. The world must take responsibility for the crimes committed and push the government to create the conditions for voluntary repatriation. But the tragic reality is that the vast majority of refugees are unlikely to return in the near future, even if Myanmar is facing international desires. Refugee planning should continue in this regard, while continuing efforts to protect the Remaining Rohingya in Myanmar. The principle that protects the voluntary nature of any repatriation is the cornerstone of international refugee protection. Although not expressly stipulated in the 1951 Refugee Convention, it is a direct result of the Convention`s principle of non-refoulement: it is forbidden to return persons to countries where they fear for their safety. The only condition on which UNHCR bases its decision to participate in this form of repatriation is the fact that refugees have requested voluntary repatriation. UNHCR must therefore be able to determine whether the decision was made on a voluntary basis or whether it was printed to force or influence the decision. UNHCR has a responsibility to ensure that returns are legitimate and voluntary.
Myanmar`s Foreign Minister U Myint Thu told BBC Burmese: “The repatriation process will begin on 23 January.” In addition to human rights concerns, forced repatriation poses serious security and stability risks on both sides of the border.