Early return, citizenship essential

International community on Monday called for an immediate halt to the exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar’s Rakhine State and early return of the ethnic minority people to their places with citizenship for the beginning of a durable and inclusive solution to protracted Rohingya crisis.
The call was made on the first day of the conference of the foreign ministers of 51 Asian and European countries in Myanmar’s administrative capital in Nay Pyi Taw as the exodus continued for about thirteen weeks.
Stopping violence for a halt to the flow of ‘refugees’, guaranteeing full humanitarian access to Rakhine state, and safe and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas ‘are going to be key’ to the solution to Rohingya crisis, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after a special group meeting on Rohingya issue..
Foreign ministers of Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Russia, Luxemburg, France, Thailand, Hungary, Finland, Sweden and Federica Mogherini of the EU attended the group meeting.
They agreed on many points and called for immediate cessation of hostilities, halting of outflow, early return of forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Rakhine state from Bangladesh, and implementation of recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission for durable solutions, Bangladesh diplomats said.
Federica Mogherini said that there ‘is a real possibility’ of Myanmar and Bangladesh reaching a memorandum of understanding and agreement for the safe repatriation of refugees to Myanmar.
She also stressed the need for implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by Kofi Annan.
The European Union is firmly behind the democratic transition of Myanmar, she added.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi inaugurated the plenary of the two-day 13th Asia-Europe Meeting of foreign ministers.
Without directly mentioning the exodus from Rakhine State, Suu Kyi said that the world was facing instability and conflict in part because illegal immigration spread terrorism.
Bangladesh foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, in his speech in the plenary, cautioned against resurgent nationalism and use of prejudices and exaggerated imaginary threat perceptions.
Several hundred Rohingyas entered Bangladesh on Monday through different points of the border with Myanmar, officials said.
Over 6,21,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing, between August 25 and November 19.
The ongoing influx took the total number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 10,40,000 till Sunday, according to estimates of UN agencies.
China made a three-phase proposal to resolve the crisis –– involving a ceasefire, refugee repatriation and poverty alleviation, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said.
Myanmar intends to resettle most refugees who return in new ‘model villages’, rather than on the land they previously occupied, an approach the United Nations has criticised in the past as effectively creating permanent camps, according to Reuters.
Besides restoring peace for Rohingyas to return, Myanmar also had to
resolve the issue of their citizenship, having treated them as stateless for decades, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi told a press conference in Tokyo.
British Labour Party lawmaker Rosena Allin-Khan said that the Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar deserved action. ‘We need to call it what it is: Genocide,’ she said in a tweet on Monday.

Source: New Age.

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