EU asks Myanmar to create conditions for Rohingya repatriation

15 Oct,2017

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

The European Union (EU) has said the conditions for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of those who have fled their homeland must be put in place.


It also asked the Myanmar government to intensify efforts to ensure full, safe and unconditional access to Rakhine State for humanitarian assistance without delay.


“The authorities in Myanmar need to take forward swiftly full implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission, including citizenship for the Rohingya population,” said Head of the EU Delegation to the United Nations Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida.


The Ambassador made the call while addressing the Security Council Arria formula meeting with Kofi Annan on the Situation in Myanmar in New York on Friday.


The EU envoy said those most closely involved – and the wider international community – must remain unflagging in their efforts to address this crisis and the human suffering it is inflicting.


Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen said it will be difficult to find a meaningful and lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis without involvement and monitoring by the international community especially without UN Security Council given the previous experience with Myanmar.


The root cause of the problem lies with Myanmar and the solution to the crisis also lies there, he said. 


The Bangladesh Ambassador said though the two countries agreed to form a working group to start repatriation process there are some issues that require wider discussions, according to a message received here on Saturday. 


The EU welcomed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s clear commitment in her October 12 speech. 


“The EU stands ready to support Myanmar in this endeavour,” Almeida said urging Myanmar to cooperate fully with the Human Rights Council Independent Fact-Finding Mission and to allow full, safe and unhindered access of its members to Rakhine State without delay.


The Ambassador said Bangladesh has responded with a great resolve to this crisis to provide essential humanitarian assistance to those displaced by this crisis. 


“The EU welcomes the initial discussions and commitments between Bangladesh and Myanmar, and encourages both countries to take urgent steps forward to ensure the safe and voluntary repatriation of refugees as soon as possible, in line with the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.”


“It’s incumbent upon the international community to do everything it can to alleviate the plight of those who have fled and those who remain in Rakhine State,” Almeida said.


The Ambassador said the EU has responded quickly to the evolving humanitarian crisis. “We’ve provided 18 million euro for the delivery of assistance in Myanmar, of which 8 million euro in Rakhine, and 14.5 million euro in Bangladesh, with 10 million to address needs in Cox’s Bazar.”


The EU will co-host a pledging conference in Geneva on October 23 in order to boost international support.


It commended the work of the Advisory Commission and said the recommendations made by the Advisory Commission provide a clear blueprint for addressing the substantial security, development and human rights challenges faced in Rakhine state and for improving the lives of those who live there. 


The EU acknowledged the efforts that have been made to date by the government of Myanmar to support the work of the Commission and to take forward the implementation of its recommendations, including through the establishment of a Committee to oversee implementation.


The EU observed that the unprecedented wave of refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh has rightly galvanised international concern. 


“The violence and human rights violations that have driven this exodus are not acceptable and must end immediately and the protection of all civilians without discrimination, as well as the full observation of human rights law, must be assured,” said the EU envoy.


The EU condemned the serious human rights violations and abuses, as well as disproportionate use of force, carried out by the security forces. 


It called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice in line with the rule of law. “This applies also for those involved in the attacks committed against members of the Myanmar security forces – attacks which the EU has condemned.”

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