Ensure dignified return of Rohingya-refugees to Myanmar: US to Bangladesh
Seeking a voluntary, safe, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar, the US asserted yesterday that Dhaka must ensure the returnees have the freedom of movement and "not be confined to camps".
Dhaka and Naypyidaw have agreed last month, to begin by mid-November, the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh to escape Myanmar army's crackdown.
2,000 Rohingya Muslims to return to Myanmar in first batch
Under the agreement, Myanmar will take back 2,000 Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh in the first batch.
"We have engaged both governments at the highest levels to express our serious concerns about premature returns, and to emphasize that, consistent with international practice, returns should be informed, voluntary, safe, and dignified. Further, returnees to Burma must not be confined to camps," the US State Department said.
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Conditions in Myanmar not conducive for Rohingya returnees: UNHCR
However, the State Department also said it agrees with the assessment of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that conditions in Myanmar aren't yet conducive for the return of the Rohingyas.
"This is because full access to Burma is needed to understand the conditions in areas of return and to allow refugees to make an informed choice about returning to Burma," it said.
Provide efficient citizenship-verification process, freedom of movement: US to Myanmar
Urging Myanmar to play a constructive role in resolving the Rohingya issue, the US said the country should provide efficient citizenship verification process, freedom of movement and access to livelihoods to the minority Muslims.
Over 720,000 of Myanmar's stateless Rohingya fled in August 2017, taking shelter in crowded camps in Bangladesh and bringing with them harrowing tales of rape, murder in the military crackdown.