Bangladesh has said Myanmar must take concrete steps in areas of core concerns of Rohingyas in order to motivate the potential returnees to opt for voluntary return.
Bangladesh has also sought steps from Myanmar to ensure ‘conducive environment’ for Rohingyas’ return to the Rakhine State and Myanmar should share detailed information on this with the concerned people.
“Pressure must be mounted and maintained on Myanmar to take back their nationals, guaranteeing their rights,” said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam.
He was addressing at the OIC Contact Group Meeting on Rohingyas at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
The State Minister said visible steps should be taken by Myanmar and confidence must be built so that the displaced Rohingyas feel safe and encouraged to return.
“We are committed to their voluntary repatriation and already signed an agreement with UNHCR to get the voluntariness done in an impartial manner,” he said.
Shahriar also said this is not a problem between Bangladesh and Myanmar but between Myanmar authorities and its own nationals, which is unduly affecting Bangladesh.
“The problem originated in Myanmar, and its solution must be found in Myanmar. Bangladesh seeks a peaceful solution,” he said.
With the help of international community, the state minister said Bangladesh has been efficiently handling the complex humanitarian emergency with all sorts of humanitarian assistance including shelter, food, health, water and sanitation.
“However, so far only about 34 percent of the assessed humanitarian assistance needed for the current year could be ensured,” he said.
It is critical that International community does not lose focus of the issue especially, its human rights aspect including the Rohingyas’ inalienable right to exist in their homeland as a community with their distinct history and culture of the land under state protection of Myanmar, the State Minister said.
There is also question of justice and accountability to address and heal Rohingya’s wounds for sustainable reintegration, national reconciliation and end of unbridled impunity, Shahriar said.
This includes, inter alia, ensuring safety and security for the returnees, rebuilding destroyed villages/houses, creating livelihood opportunities, ensuring access to basic services and assistance, granting freedom of movement, addressing citizenship issue.
“It appears that Myanmar’s readiness to start the repatriation is limited to creating transit facilities and showcasing it to the international community of Myanmar,” said the state minister.