Japan to give $3m to Myanmar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:24 AM, January 13, 2018

Rohingya Repatriation

Japan to give $3m to Myanmar

Bangladesh and Myanmar are likely to finalise an agreement on the “physical arrangement” on Monday to start the repatriation of Rohingyas.

A 14-member Bangladesh delegation, led by Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, will leave Dhaka for Myanmar capital tomorrow to attend the first meeting of the joint working group (JWG), an official told the news agency.

Despite challenges, Bangladesh officials said, they are on tracks in terms of timeframe mentioned in the bilateral document signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar on November 23.

Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono yesterday urged Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to guarantee the safe and voluntary return of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in troubled Rakhine state.

While Taro Kono is visiting Myanmar, the Japanese government announced a grant of $3 million to Myanmar's government to help facilitate the repatriation of the Rohingyas, reports AP.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees on November 23, and Myanmar said it would start the process by January 23. The exact numbers and extent of the repatriation is still unclear.

"We have decided to provide the aid in response to the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh to represent an international message of support so that the repatriation can be carried out promptly," said Foreign Ministry official Shinobu Yamaguchi in a statement.

Kono's three-day visit to Myanmar includes traveling to Rakhine state. Humanitarian groups and independent media are prohibited from traveling to the area freely.

More than 650,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape a brutal crackdown in which security forces have been accused of systematic abuses tantamount to ethnic cleansing.

During a meeting yesterday, Kono asked Suu Kyi's government to allow humanitarian and media access to the affected area, the resettlement of returned refugees, and the implementation of recommendations made by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Kono also said Japan plans to give further aid of $20 million to improve humanitarian conditions and development in Rakhine state.

“We are thankful to Japan for its willingness to support the needs both for short term and long term," Suu Kyi said at the joint news conference.

Yamaguchi stressed that Japan will monitor how the repatriation will be carried out. "The money will be paid in a timely manner based on the progress of repatriation," Yamaguchi added.

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