Kyaw Tint Swe, Myanmar’s Union Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor, said repatriations would be carried out in line with a November 2017 agreement with Bangladesh.
“Our priority now is to expedite repatriation and to create a more conducive environment for verified returnees,” he said, highlighting cooperation with Bangladesh, the UN and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), among others.
Mr Swe said displaced people who had been living in Rakhine state “have a different legal status.”
Those who qualify for citizenship will be issued with citizenship cards. The rest will receive National Verification Cards which he likened to the “green card” issued to immigrants in the United States.
Mr Swe said some 300 people have already returned to Myanmar of their own volition said Mr Swe.
The Minister dismissed demands to establish a “safe zone” in Myanmar as “neither warranted, nor workable.”
He called on Bangladesh to faithfully implement the bilateral agreement, which he described as “the only feasible way to resolve the issue of the displaced persons.”
Regarding accountability for the events in Rakhine state, Mr Swe reported that a military investigation is currently underway.
“A recent announcement suggests that there will soon be a court martial,” he added.
Mr Swe also addressed an International Criminal Court (ICC) request to authorize an investigation into alleged crimes in Rakhine State.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk