Rohingya repatriation to commence before election: Chinese envoy

The Chinese ambassador attended the handover ceremony of medical supplies from Embassy of China in Bangladesh to Bangladesh 250 Bed Sadar Hospital in Cox’s Bazar.
Prothom Alo

The Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, Yao Wen, has said it might be possible to repatriate some Rohingya men from their shelters in Cox’s Bazar to Myanmar before the next parliamentary elections, under a pilot project.

He made the statement at an event in Cox’s Bazar on Friday, organised to hand over medical equipment on behalf of his embassy to the 250-bed Sadar Hospital in the district town.

“The repatriation process is all set to commence by sending back the Rohingya men to Myanmar under a pilot project. However, it is a lengthy process that cannot be completed overnight,” he added.

Describing China as the mediator between the two sides, ambassador Yao Wen said China is helping Bangladesh and Myanmar in the repatriation process since it is a good friend to both sides. “We have united them (Bangladesh and Myanmar) to have conversations and find a solution that can facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya people.”

The ambassador expressed contentment over the developments as both sides exchanged in-person visits across the border and held dialogues.

“I believe a consensus has been reached here so that some Rohingya men can be repatriated under a pilot project. Our intention is to send back some Rohingyas at the earliest possible time,” he noted.

The Chinese ambassador, however, called upon other international actors to play a role in executing the repatriation and work in a coordinated manner in this regard.

Maung Ting Neo, superintendent of the 250 Bed Sadar Hospital, also spoke at the event.

He thanked the Chinese embassy for its kindness, saying that medical equipment such as ICU monitors and electrocardiogram machines will help solve the urgent needs of the hospital and greatly improve the level of medical services at the hospital.