But the repatriation stopped for months because the Rohingya feared persecution if they returned to Rakhine. More than 700,000 people fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar security forces took tough action on August 25, 2017 in retaliation for attacks on Lykan Rohingya insurgents. On November 23, 2017, the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Rakhine State.  The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister said that a joint working group of UNHCR and members of both countries should be set up within three weeks to define the final conditions for the start of the process. He also explained that the returnees would be housed in makeshift camps near their abandoned homes. As part of the agreement, Myanmar would ensure that they are not kept in the camps for long and that identity cards are issued.  The foreign ministers of the two countries met on 19 December to conclude the agreement. Bangladesh`s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the group would “ensure the start of repatriation within two months” by setting a timetable for verifying identities and logistics.  “I will not return to Myanmar, even if the authorities are pushing me to be repatriated.
I`m sure that`s the view of almost all Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh,” he said. Under pressure from China, representatives from Bangladesh and Myanmar met on 30-31 October in Dhaka, the third meeting of a joint working group to implement a bilateral return agreement signed in November 2017. At the end of the meeting, the representatives announced that they had a “very concrete plan” for repatriation in mid-November, with the first round 2,260 Rohingya from 485 families. According to the Myanmar authorities, the plan calls for the daily reception of 150 refugees at the NaA Khu Ya reception centre from 15 November, before being transferred to the Hla Poe Kaung transit camp. “So far, Myanmar has failed to present the Rohingya community with a clear, transparent, strategic and genuine plan to repatriate nearly one million Rohingya who survived the genocide in Myanmar,” the European Rohingya Council said in a statement on Monday. When the initial return agreement was signed in November, Amnesty International said it doubted there could be safe or dignified returns “while an apartheid system remains,” adding that it “hopes that those who do not want to return home will not be forced to do so.” “We had a very honest and friendly meeting this morning. We achieved concrete results at the beginning of the repatriation,” he said. “As my colleagues have said, we have shown political will, flexibility and adaptation to begin repatriation as soon as possible.” “We have already negotiated with Bangladesh to receive these 3,450 people on 22 August,” he said, adding that they would be divided into seven groups for repatriation. “First of all, we have streamlined many local policies to raise awareness among returnees,” he said. “We also encourage public police work, which includes police forces and with local communities, to maintain and promote public order. The first group of 150 people from 30 families was placed in a transit camp to prepare for their return.