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22 March, 2019 12:26:38 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 March, 2019 09:42:17 AM

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UNHCR blames Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation delay

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
UNHCR blames Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation delay

Volker Turk, the UNHCR assistant high commissioner for protection, yesterday said the Myanmarese government has not created a conducive environment for the repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland in Rakhine state.

Saying that the situation was really critical in Rakhine state, Turk said even UNHCR has not been allowed to enter the area for the past few months. The UNHCR official told this to the media at a city hotel during his visit to Bangladesh to assess the situation of Rohingya refugees here and explore potential solutions.

Asked about alleged fund misappropriation by the international community, he said: “We are very strict in using funds.

There is transparency in it.” Asked about the relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashanchar, Turk replied: “It’s true that some Rohingya camps including Kutupalong are very congested. In this case, the Bangladeshi government’s move to relocate some of the refugees is good, but the relocation should be voluntary. We are discussing the issue with the government.”

He also asserted that the international community will continue to support the Rohingya community.

Asked about a possible solution to the crisis, the UNHCR officia said: “We are engaging with the Myanmarese authorities in this regard. We have a number of developments on this front. What we need is to continue pressurising the Myanmarese government.” He also said Rohingyas belonged to Myanmar and all-out efforts were necessary for their repatriation. “But the return should be safe and dignified,” he added.

“I have talked to a number of Rohingyas. Many of them are traumatized. They want solution to the crisis and want to resume a normal and productive life in their homeland,” he said.

Turk also said UNHCR was a humanitarian organisation and it stood with distressed people like Rohingyas, but a solution will have to come from the government. Lauding the support of the local community for the Rohingyas during their influx, he said: “The people of Bangladesh, especially those living at Ukhiya and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar, were the first respondents in 2017, and they have continued to show a tremendous humanitarian spirit and generosity. The impact of the presence of refugees on their lives must be recognised and addressed.”

He also said the Rohingyas felt grateful to the Bangladeshi government and the people for finding sanctuary here. The UNHCR envoy also underscored the need for providing skill training to the Rohingyas so that they can lead productive lives after they return to Myanmar.

MK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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