Despite coup, Bangladesh expects Myanmar to uphold Rohingya repatriation process

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Bangladesh called for peace and stability in Myanmar after a military coup on Monday, and said it hoped its neighbor make genuine efforts to move forward the stalled process of voluntary repatriation of Rohingya Muslim refugees.

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Mainly-Muslim Bangladesh has sheltered 1 million Rohingya who had fled violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where most of them are denied citizenship.

A UN-backed repatriation process has failed to take off despite multiple attempts from Bangladesh, which has now started sending some of the refugees to an isolated island in the Bay of Bengal.

“We have been persistent in developing mutually beneficial relations with Myanmar and have been working with Myanmar for the voluntary, safe and sustained repatriation of the Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Reuters in a statement.

“We expect these processes to continue in right earnest.”

Myanmar’s military seized power on Monday in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy party in early morning raids.

Read more: EXPLAINER: Why did Myanmar military announce emergency, taking control of the reins

“We hope that the democratic process and constitutional arrangements will be upheld in Myanmar,” Bangladesh said. “As an immediate and friendly neighbor, we would like to see peace and stability in Myanmar.”

Suu Kyi’s international reputation was damaged after she failed to stop the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from western Rakhine State in 2017.

Nevertheless, Rohingya in Bangladesh condemned the action against politicians in their home country.

“We urge the global community to come forward and restore democracy at any cost,” Rohingya leader Dil Mohammed told Reuters by phone.

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