MYANMAR WELCOMES INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR REPATRIATION OF REFUGEES FROM BANGLADESH

YANGON, Myanmar May 2 (NNN-Bernama) — Myanmar has welcomed the support of the international community in the implementation of an agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the repatriation of displaced persons fleeing the Rakhine conflict, the Ministry of the State Counsellor’s Office said, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry made the remarks a day after State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met with visiting members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday.

Hailing the opportunity to discuss the situation in the western state of Rakhine, Suu Kyi expressed Myanmar’s delight over working with the UN to deal with the challenges that Myanmar faces. The engagement of UN agencies in Rakhine will ensure refugees’ safe return without fear, the ministry said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The government is discussing a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the engagement, the statement added.

“Violence has no place in a democratic Myanmar. We must work hard to repatriate those who have lost their homes while also dealing with the root causes of the recent violence,” Suu Kyi said in her statement.

She stressed that the basis for repatriation must be that it is safe, dignified and voluntary.

Noting that a report, commissioned from former UN chief Kofi Annan, sets out practical measures necessary to achieve development for all communities in Rakhine state based on clear respect for rule of law and human rights, Suu Kyi added that these recommendations will contribute to the implementation of the government’s efforts to bring peace, stability and development to Rakhine state.

The UN Security Council delegation, along with permanent representatives to the UN, representatives from immediate neighbours of Myanmar to the UN and chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, visited Maungtaw, in northern Rakhine state, on Tuesday, meeting with local people from the Islamic community.

On Monday when meeting with the delegation, Suu Kyi reiterated the government’s readiness to receive displaced persons from Bangladesh after verification, calling for cooperation with the Bangladesh side to expedite the repatriation process.

Myanmar signed an agreement with Bangladesh on the return of displaced persons in November last year, expressing its readiness to start the process on Jan 23.

The arrangement was based on a joint statement signed by foreign ministers of the two countries in 1992 which guides the systematic verification and acceptance of displaced persons from Rakhine state.

However, the repatriation process is being delayed for various reasons.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army extremist terrorists launched attacks on police outposts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Aug. 25 last year, displacing a vast number of residents to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Source: NAM News Network