Conditions ‘not yet conducive' for Rohingya to return home: UN agency

The comments come amid the repatriation of the first Rohingya family back to Myanmar.

Yoshita Singh
United Nations, Publish Date: Apr 16 2018 12:51AM | Updated Date: Apr 16 2018 12:51AM
Conditions ‘not yet conducive' for Rohingya to return home: UN agencyFile Photo

The conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive for the safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees to their homes, the UN refugee agency said, underlining that the responsibility for creating such conditions remains with the country's authorities.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Government of Bangladesh finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Geneva on April 13 relating to voluntary returns of Rohingya refugees once conditions in Myanmar are conducive.

"UNHCR considers that conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive for returns to be safe, dignified, and sustainable. The responsibility for creating such conditions remains with the Myanmar authorities, and these must go beyond the preparation of physical infrastructure to facilitate logistical arrangements," the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement.

The comments come amid the repatriation of the first Rohingya family back to Myanmar.

"The five members of a family came back to Taungpyoletwei town repatriation camp in Rakhine state this morning," according to the government's Information Committee.

The agreement, signed by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, established a framework of cooperation between UNHCR and Bangladesh on the safe, voluntary, and dignified returns of refugees in line with international standards.

More than 670,000 Rohingya fled violence in Myanmar since last August, joining an estimated 200,000 Rohingya who have sought shelter in Bangladesh, arriving in waves over the past decades.

The agency said that in the absence of a tripartite agreement between UNHCR, Myanmar and Bangladesh, The UN agency has continued to engage with governments of both the countries in negotiations on two separate agreements meant to ensure that any future returns are conducted in line with the international standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity. 

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