Conditions not yet conducive for Rohingya refugee to return

Conditions not yet conducive for Rohingya refugee to return

Conditions not yet conducive for Rohingya refugee to return

Cox's Bazar, Apr 12 (UNB) - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and KSRelief have signed a US$3 million agreement to provide emergency assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The MoU established a framework of cooperation between UNHCR and Bangladesh on the safe, voluntary, and dignified returns of refugees in line with worldwide standards, said the statement.

Over 670,000 Rohingyas, a mainly Muslim minority living in Myanmar, fled the northwestern Rakhine state since the end of August after a wave of persecution and violence that the United Nations described as an attempt at "ethnic cleansing".

The UNHCR thanked Bangladesh for its hospitality, protection and assistance to those refugees.

One of the main points raised was the condition that Myanmar imposed on returning refugees to present official identity documents, which they have always been denied. Noting that such conditions are not present at the moment, the United Nations refugee agency urged Myanmar authorities to create them as well as to take concrete measures to address the root causes of displacement.

The responsibility for creating such conditions remains with the Myanmar authorities, and these must go beyond the preparation of physical infrastructure to facilitate logistical arrangements.

The UNHCR also demanded that the restrictions on the movement of internally displaced people living in camps in the central townships of Rakhine state be lifted.

After the council proposed a visit in February, Myanmar's government said it was "not the right time", but it finally gave the green light this month.

The U.N. refugee agency called a Myanmar minister's visit to Bangladesh to meet Muslim Rohingya refugees a confidence-building measure, but said conditions in Myanmar were not ready for their return. The goals for UNHCR is for the agreement "to set forth a framework for refugees' voluntary repatriation in line with worldwide standards, aim to create conditions that are conducive to eventual voluntary repatriation, and provide humanitarian and development assistance for all people of Rakhine State".

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