Uncertainty looms over Rohingya repatriation

China should play a decisive role in Rohingya return

Published : 02 Feb 2021 07:23 PM

It is worrying to note that the Rohingya repatriation issue between Bangladesh and Myanmar will face serious difficulties after the latest military coup in Myanmar. It needs no mentioning that Suu Kyi was no good for us but there was still hope that through negotiation the two neighboring countries would end up on a happy note.

Experts are of the opinion that considering the present political turmoil in Myanmar, Rohingya repartition will never be an important agenda for the military government. Reportedly, this year a tripartite meeting involving officials from Bangladesh, Myanmar and China was held, and Dhaka expressed optimism of beginning the repatriation in the second half of the year.  But now it is feared that the new regime will not honor the given commitments to repatriate Rohingya refugees. 

Suu Kyi was no good for us but

 there was still hope that through 

negotiation the two neighboring 

countries would end up on a happy note

Bangladesh has always been serious about safe repatriation of the Rohingya refugees working with Myanmar for the voluntary, safe and sustained repatriation of the persecuted minorities. But the military rulers in Myanmar have made every possible effort to thwart repatriation. Bangladesh has done the best it can despite its own multifarious constraints but nothing has gone in Bangladesh’s favor so far. Now the latest arbitrary move in Myanmar has created uncertainty over the Rohingya refugee repatriation process. However, some of the foreign policy researchers are still optimistic about fruitful dialogue between the two neighbors as China is mediating the talks to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

The only way to get proper action from Myanmar’s military is to compel it through sanctions, travel bans or a freeze on assets.  It is crucial that the international community continues to maintain pressure on Myanmar to create a conducive environment so that the Rohingya refugees can return to their homeland with safety, security and dignity.  In this regard, China should play a decisive role by exerting its influence on Myanmar.