On Sunday (19 March) the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement said that condition in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is not currently conducive to the sustainable return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
The statement said, “UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is aware of the visit of a Myanmar delegation to Bangladesh to meet with a group of refugees on a bilateral pilot project between the two countries on possible returns. UNHCR is not involved in these discussions.”
The statement continued by saying that refugees have a right to return to their home country based on the informed choice but that not refugees should be forced to do so.
“In support of efforts to preserve the right to return, UNHCR considers consultation of and dialogue with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by all parties in relation to the conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State as important to enable refugees to make an informed choice about return and build confidence amongst the community. This is particularly important as many refugees have reiterated that they do hope to go home to Myanmar as soon as conditions allow.”
A Rohingya elder commented to Rohingya Khobor that repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar without guaranteeing their civil rights will force them to become refugees to Bangladesh, which will become a bigger problem for the Bangladesh government and its people.