Bangladesh prepares ground on Rohingya repatriation: Maurer

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DHAKA, July 3, 2018 (BSS) –  President of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer today said here Bangladesh has prepared its ground on repatriation of Rohingyas but Myanmar’s political willingness has yet to be translated into reality to take back their displaced nationals.

The political willingness and efforts on Rohingya repatriation from
Bangladesh side is clear, he said adding that on the other hand Myanmar expressed political willingness to take back Rohingyas, but it has yet to be translated to the concrete reality.

“I can make clear … lot has to be done and the commitment (from Myanmar side) has to be translated to concrete reality,” he told journalists at a briefing at ICRC’s Bangladesh office in city’s Banani area.

He said responsible political leadership is needed to resolve the Rohingya crisis. “We need responsible leadership to resolve the crisis
(Rohingya)….this is not something we can substitute (through humanitarian aid),” he said.

The ICRC President arrived here on Saturday to observe current situation of Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar after concluding his visit to Myanmar to see the situation in Rakhine State.

Maurer said condition to return (of Rohingyas) will require not only
humanitarian and mitigating activities, but also effective political steps
towards ensuring freedom of their movement, access to basic services, liberty
to undertake economic activity and access to market in Rakhine state and most
importantly trust in security arrangements for returnees.

However, the ICRC President sees his visit to both countries as positive
saying that at least Myanmar recognized it and showed willingness on
repatriation of Rohingyas.

“I am not here to raise blame. Both governments are making efforts and I am
convinced of their goodwill,” he added.

Replying to a query about his Myanmar visit, ICRC President said political
willingness is there but structural and economical preparation in Rakhine
state for the people (Rohingya) waiting to back is not there yet. “I have
expressed my serious doubt that we are there yet,” he said.

Apart from structural and economical preparation, he said the Rohingya
people need their proper right (citizenship) to get back their homeland.
“It’s a political problem and its must be resolved politically,” he added.

Sharing experience of his interaction with Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazaar,
Maurer said “I have seen they (Rohingyas) are not willing to return (to
Myanmar) until their rights are recognized there.”

He said the Myanmar authority needs to work for reconciliation of the
communities in Rakhine state to ensure safe return of Rohingyas. “Political
actors need to sort it out,” he observed.

Maurer said ICRC will continue to play its part in responding to this
humanitarian crisis in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.

He said more humanitarian supports from international community are needed
for Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar.

Around 700,000 Rohingyas took shelter in Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine
state since last August following the brutal military actions termed by UN as
“ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” by rights groups.

 

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