Myanmar’s offer for repatriation

There must be immediate halt to persecution

The proposal by the government of Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas is a positive development. We welcome the move but of course nothing has been said precisely about how this repatriation is to take place. We understand that a joint working group will be set up between Bangladesh and Myanmar to work out the modalities of repatriation that include a verification process.

But before we get to the subject of Rohingyas returning to their homeland, three imperative conditions must be fulfilled by Myanmar. Firstly, the flow of Rohingyas from that country must be halted immediately. Thousands of people are still streaming over the border to Bangladesh every day, and unless Myanmar takes steps to halt the ongoing military action in Rakhine State, the refugee crisis will not end. As much as we would like to believe the Myanmar government’s position on the displaced community’s repatriation, its sincerity will be tested if the persecution of the Rohingya stops immediately. Despite claims by the Myanmar authorities that no military action has taken place in Rakhine since September 5, there has been ample evidence to the contrary.

Secondly, the Myanmar authorities must ensure a stable, congenial condition in Rakhine to generate a sense of safety in the minds of the Rohingya to motivate them to return. Bangladesh is already hosting more than 500,000 of Myanmar’s minorities since the brutal suppression that has been termed by the UN as “ethnic cleansing”. Unless the hostilities against an unarmed civilian populace end, the exodus will continue and there cannot be any repatriation.

Thirdly, there must be a timetable for completing the repatriation, and the UNHCR should be party to the MoU, as it was back in 1993, to facilitate repatriation of Myanmar nationals.

One Response to Myanmar’s offer for repatriation

  1. Without UN participation any bilateral negotiation is a hoax. The precondition for entering into a negotiation shall be immediate stoppage of any further Rohingya migration and stoppage of army repression which are going on still unabated. Instead of a joint Committee there should be one committee comprising members from UNHCR, Amnesty international, HWC and representatives from Myanmar who forced the refugees to Bangladesh and representatives from Bangladesh who sheltered the Rohingyas. Additional members shall be taken from executive committee for Refugee related organization of United Nations. An instrument of Agreement must be prepared ahead containing implementation of Recommendation of Anan Commission Report and additional provisions for resettlement. (In case of reluctance to cooperate by Myanmar colleral damage and as US representative to UN Mrs Haley said “”We must now consider action against Burmese security forces who are implicated in abuses and stoking hatred among their fellow citizens”.”Re-imposing of sanctions may also be considered. Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali may be advised that “only the UN can legitimately intervene in conflict situations that poses threat to international peace and security as well global concern”.

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