Rohingya repatriation must be voluntary, safe, dignified: US

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Rohingya Camp. File Photo

A favourable atmosphere needs to be created in Myanmar for the voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar's Rakhine state, said US acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells in Cox's Bazar on Thursday, reports UNB.

“The repatriation must be voluntary, safe and dignified,” she said while speaking at a press briefing at the office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner after visiting Shamlapur Rohingya camp in Teknaf upazila.

Alice said the US has been working with all international communities for accelerating the Rohingya repatriation while the issue was prioritised in the Indo-Pacific conference in Thailand.

The host communities in Cox’s Bazar have been facing problems for the presence of Rohingyas, she added.

US acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs said they think the international community should work for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.

She also said the crimes against Rohingyas, including ethnic cleansing, should also be considered.

Meanwhile, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) deputy administrator Bonnie Glick visited several projects in Sadar and Ramu upazilas.

The Rohingya crisis is a global one today and the whole world is concerned about it, she said while speaking at the press conference, adding that Myanmar is responsible for it.

The US government is putting pressure on Myanmar and the Trump administration has already imposed several financial sanctions on the Myanmar government while four of its army officials were also banned, Bonnie Glick said.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since 25 August, 2017 amid military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine dtate.

Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar’s “failure” to build confidence among Rohingyas and lack of conducive environment in Rakhine state, officials here said.

Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 100,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.

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