This week, in DHAKA, a team from Myanmar is verifying Rohingya refugees in Bangladeshi camps in preparation for a pilot repatriation project in which 400 of them are expected to be given the green light to return to Myanmar.


More than a million Rohingya Muslims, who fled violence and persecution in neighboring Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017, are currently living in Bangladesh, where they are receiving humanitarian aid from the country.

Most of the Rohingya have fled to the poor coastal district of Cox’s Bazar in the country’s southeast, which has become the world’s largest refugee settlement due to the influx of refugees.

The United Nations has been discussing the possibility of their repatriation to Myanmar for quite some time, but no formal repatriation process has begun until recently.

China acted as a go-between for a group of Myanmar immigration officials to travel to their country and begin a pilot program. Over 1,100 people have been identified as candidates for the initial group of returnees, and verification is currently underway for over 400 of them. The rest of the group’s paperwork has been remotely approved by Myanmar authorities.

As reported by Arab News, Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mizanur Rahman said on Wednesday that a team of Myanmar officials had begun verifying more than 400 Rohingyas at Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.

“The Myanmar team members have been meeting with each of the individuals since last Wednesday. For the next five or six days, the Myanmar crew will be in this location.

After the team returns from their trip to Bangladesh, the next steps in the repatriation process will be determined.

When the actual repatriation will begin is still unknown, Rahman said.

Bangladesh has been hosting Rohingya refugees despite not being a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, and the country has been advocating for their return home for years.

The Bangladeshi government spends about $1.2 billion annually on the Rohingya’s support.

This is an enormous sum, especially considering the decline in international aid for the Rohingya that has occurred since 2020 and the difficulties already faced by the developing country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to a lack of funding, the UN World Food Programme decided to reduce food aid to the Rohingya population last month.

It has become increasingly dangerous to host 1.2 million Rohingya, as homicides and reports of criminal organizations employing refugees as drug traffickers have increased over the past year.