UN official: Conditions aren’t right for Rohingyas to return

The U.N. refugee chief warned Tuesday that conditions aren’t right for Rohingya Muslims to voluntarily return to Myanmar because its government hasn’t addressed their exclusion, denial of rights and lack of citizenship.

Filippo Grandi also warned that another “major new emergency looms” with the arrival of the monsoon season in March and more than 100,000 refugees in Bangladesh living in areas prone to flooding or landslides.

Grandi told the Security Council in a video briefing from Geneva that since the crisis began last August, more than 688,000 Rohingyas have fled violence and destruction, including over 1,500 this month — and thousands more are expected.

“It is time to bring an end to this repeated devastating cycle of violence, displacement and statelessness — to invest in tangible, substantial measures that will start to overcome the profound exclusion that the Rohingya community has endured for far too long,” he said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said this is the responsibility of the government of Myanmar, “but international engagement and support are key to making it happen.”

Buddhist-majority Myanmar doesn’t recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, insisting they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. It has denied them citizenship, leaving them stateless.

The recent spasm of violence began when Rohingya insurgents launched a series of attacks Aug. 25. Myanmar security forces then began a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages that the U.N. and human rights groups have called a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Grandi welcomed the agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the voluntary return of refugees but said “the framework for return” should eventually be defined in a three-way agreement between the two governments and his office.

He said construction of structures to support the return of refugees is important — “but should not be confused with the establishment of conditions conducive to voluntary …read more

Source:: Usa latest news


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