Bangladesh, UNHCR to Ink Preliminary Plan on Rohingya Repatriation

Bangladesh, UNHCR to Ink Preliminary Plan on Rohingya Repatriation

The UN Refugee Agency said on Friday that it had reached an agreement with the Bangladeshi government for the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees who have fled organised attacks by the security forces in Myanmar.

"Conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees", it said in a statement, adding that the responsibility remains with the government to create such conditions.

For the first time since Myanmar's military crackdown a year ago that led to nearly 700,000 Rohingya fleeing into neighbouring Bangladesh, a government minister has visited a refugee camp.

The UNHCR thanked Bangladesh for its hospitality, protection and assistance to those refugees. 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. Myanmar authorities say the operation in Rakhine state is aimed at rooting out extremists, but the Security Council is demanding that the Rohingya be allowed to safely return home.

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One step it could immediately take is to provide UNHCR and other relevant actors with full and unhindered access to refugees SNG-QTS places of origin in Rakhine, which would enable UNHCR to assess the situation and provide information to refugees about conditions in the places of origin, as well as to monitor any possible future return and reintegration of refugees.

UNHCR is now discussing an agreement with Myanmar.

He said following the issuance of the Royal Directives to allocate US$20 million in response to the most recent Rohingya crisis, KSRelief has initiated a number of key projects and has worked closely in coordination with UNHCR and the government of Bangladesh to attend to the most urgent humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees. The goals for UNHCR is for the agreement "to set forth a framework for refugees' voluntary repatriation in line with global 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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