18 July 2019

Rohingya body frustrates on international failure to control Myanmar

We do not think enough pressure is being put on Myanmar leaders to make repatriation possible, statement says
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File photo: Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar - Nahid Anjuman Nayon

A Rohingya civil society and rights body expressed concern today on failure of the international community to put due pressure on Myanmar to create congenial environment in Rakhine State for peaceful Rohingya repatriation with safety and dignity, statement says.

“Like Bangladesh government, we are frustrated that the international community is not putting enough pressure on Myan1nar to improve the condition in Rakhine State. We do not think enough pressure is being put on Myanmar leaders to make repatriation possible”, statement issued by Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH) said.

The statement added: “The international community has lost focus and is too distracted by humanitarian issue in the camps. We keep hearing them say Rohingya refugees will be in Bangladesh a very long time. This is not what we want. Bangladesh is not our home. We do not want to stay in refugee camps in Bangladesh forever.”

The ARSPH also thanked the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina for her comments she made on 9 May 2019 when returned from her overseas travel. “We agree that Myanmar Government has not done enough to prove they are ready to accept us home.”

It added: “The international community has lost focus and is too distracted by humanitarian issue in the camps. We keep hearing them say Rohingya refugees will be in Bangladesh a very long time.”

Condemning the dillydally attitude of the international community to the repatriation issue the statement said: “This is not what we want. Bangladesh is not our home. We do not want to stay in refugee camps in Bangladesh forever.”

Why can't Rohingya refugees who still have houses in Rakhine return home? “The answer is because that Myanmar is not taking responsibility to make it safe for Rohingya refugees to return home with our rights.”

Why is the international community not pressuring Myarunar to take back its own nationals who it forced into Bangladesh? “We think it is because the international community does not really care about what Rohingya refugees want. They are not ready listening to us.”

“We have sent a letter to her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to thanks her for her comment to repatriation. We also wish to thanks the people of Bangladesh for their kindness, patience and generosity in hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya from Rakhine State.”

It added: “We know this is not an easy situation for Rohingya refugees and host communities. This situation is not sustainable.”

Expressing hope to work with Bangladesh government the ARSPH’s statement further said: “We want to work together with the Government of Bangladesh on the goal of safe and dignified repatriation.” Rohingya refugee families face many confusing messages and information on repatriation which is why it so important that the we work together. “The many challenges on the road to returning home cannot be overcome unless Rohingya refugee leaders are directly involved in the discussions.”

Right now, Rohingya refugees continue to be left out of all decision-making process. The international community need to start showing us more respect and properly talking with us.

“There will be no repatriation without talking to us”, the statement added.

Kamruzzaman


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