Cabinet nod for draft agreement on repatriation of Myanmar refugees

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft agreement on the repatriation of Myanmar refugees as proposed by the Foreign Ministry, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

The draft agreement was made at a meeting, hosted by the Foreign Ministry, of representatives of the Thailand and Myanmar on March 28.

According to the draft agreement, Thailand Myanmar will work together to send back to their home country Myanmar refugees who have been living at nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border on a volutary basis.

Myanmar will divide the refugees into three groups. In the first group are refugees whose birth places can be clearly verified. The second are those who have chosen a clear destination on being repatriated. In the third category are those who need occupational training.

As for those who definitely decide to return to resettle permanently in Myanmar, they will be repatriated through the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint in Tak province and Ban Phu Nam Ron checkpoint in Kanchanaburi.

According to a recent survey, there are nine refugee camps along the border — four in Mae Hong Son, three in Tak, one in Kanchanaburi and one in Ratchaburi — sheltering a total of about 99,700 war refugees.

Since 2015, 164 refugees have been voluntarily repatriated on two occasions — 71 in the first batch and 93 in the second.


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