US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller has urged Myanmar to address the root causes of Rohingya crisis expressing strong support to hold accountable those responsible persons for the atrocities committed against Rohingyas in Myanmar.
“It’s Myanmar’s responsibility to address the root causes of the refugee crisis, including providing the Rohingya access to citizenship, freedom of movement, access to livelihoods, and other key recommendations of the Annan Commission,” he said.
The US envoy made the remarks in a statement as he completed his first visit to Cox’s Bazar on Thursday during which he visited several Rohingya camps and Bangladesh host communities from 4 December.
He heard heartbreaking stories from recently arrived refugees and consulted with UN and government officials and NGO representatives on current issues and future challenges in the refugee response.
The visit to Cox’s Bazar by US ambassador to Bangladesh signifies the importance of the Rohingya refugee issue to the United States, said the US embassy in Dhaka.
He described Bangladesh as a strategic US partner in the region and characterised the strong US-Bangladesh relationship as one driven by common interests.
Ambassador Miller highlighted US sanctions against five Myanmar military and border guard police generals as well as two Myanmar military units.
He welcomed Bangladesh’s continued commitment to returns that are fully voluntary, safe, dignified, and based on informed consent.
The US has provided nearly $346 million to assist Rohingyas and host communities in Bangladesh affected by the displacement since the current crisis started in August 2017, said the US embassy in Dhaka.
In addition, the US contributes more than $200 million annually in development assistance.
The US ambassador went to Konarpara to see the internally displaced Rohingya sheltering in no-man’s land, where a tall border fence has been built just behind them.
He visited a number of refugee camp facilities, including health clinics, food distribution points, counter trafficking and disaster shelters, and learning centers, in both Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts, where he gained an appreciation for the complexity and enormity of the relief effort.
In all of his meetings, ambassador Miller expressed US gratitude and admiration for the extraordinary generosity of the Bangladesh people in sheltering the more than 700,000 Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017, said the embassy.
Ambassador Miller presented his credentials to president M Abdul Hamid on 29 November.