Return to Myanmar still not safe for Rohingya, says UN

Return to Myanmar still not safe for Rohingya, says UN

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said during her visit to Dhaka in Bangladesh that the return of Rohingya refugees to neighboring Myanmar will not was still not sure.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday it was still not safe for Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar, nearly five years after a crackdown prompted their mass exodus to neighboring Bangladesh.

Unfortunately, the current situation across the border means conditions are not right for the returns, Bachelet told reporters in Dhaka.

Around 750,000 Rohingya fled army abuses in Myanmar and sought asylum in neighboring Bangladesh in 2017, where more than 100,000 refugees from previous violence had already been found.

The mostly Muslim Rohingya survive, crammed into unsanitary camps sheltered by shacks made of tarpaulins, iron sheets and bamboo, and refuse to return to Buddhist-majority Myanmar as long as ;they will not have obtained citizenship rights.

“Repatriation should always be done in a voluntary and dignified manner, only when safe and sustainable conditions exist in Myanmar.

— Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Myanmar has been ruled by a military junta since the ouster of his civilian government last year.

The presence of this huge refugee population is a burden for Bangladesh, which has requested Ms. Bachelet's help to repatriate the Rohingya to Myanmar as quickly as possible.

Ms. Bachelet expressed concern about the growing anti-Rohingya rhetoric and that the community could be used as a scapegoat.

The day before, she recalled that the Rohingyas she had met during her visit to the Cox Bazar camps in southern Bangladesh were themselves eager to be able to return to Myanmar, but on condition that their citizenship are recognized.

A Rohingya child in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas found refuge in this country in 2017, to flee the abuses of the Myanmar army.

The High Commissioner was also concerned to hear refugees complaining about community security conditions in the camps after a series of killings and rising crime.

Dozens of murders, kidnappings and police raids targeting drug trafficking networks have taken place in the camps.

Two Rohingya community leaders were recently shot dead in one of these camps. These killings are attributed to a group of Rohingya insurgents who operate both in Rakhine State (western Myanmar) and in camps in Bangladesh.

Bachelet also urged the international community on Tuesday to continue supporting the Rohingya, despite increased international attention to more recent crisis situations.

She added that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been hit hard by the Rohingya, with food prices soaring and the cost of supporting a population rising. dependent on humanitarian aid.

“I therefore urge the international community not to give up not the Rohingyas, that it continues to support them and that it even consider the possibility of stepping up its aid, given the consequences of the war. »

— Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

On Monday, she met with civil society groups in Bangladesh who expressed their deepest concerns about human rights abuses in the country.

These include the hundreds of cases of enforced disappearances and thousands of extrajudicial killings allegedly committed by security forces under the government of Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

“I have expressed my deep concern over these serious allegations to Government Ministers and stressed the need for further impartial, independent and transparent investigation into these allegations.

— Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

In December, the United States imposed sanctions on a counterterrorism group and anti-crime, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and seven senior security officials, including the national police chief, for gross human rights violations.

Rights campaigners say the situation has since improved, with extrajudicial killings and disappearances having all but stopped.

Government denies such allegations.

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