ROHINGYA REFUGEES’ SAFE RETURN TO MYANMAR “COMPLEX”: UN ENVOY

UNITED NATIONS, July 24 (NNN-Xinhua) — The Special UN Envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said Monday that the return to Myanmar of the 900,000-plus Rohingya refugees stranded in Bangladesh will take time.

There is no “quick fix,” Burgener told reporters after briefing the 15 United Nations Security Council members on the Rohingya refugee situation.

The special envoy of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said she has “visited many, many people to have an overall picture of the complex situation in Myanmar” since she took office about two months ago.

According to UN refugee agency UNHCR, more than 1 million ethnic minority Rohingyas have fled their homes in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since August 2017.

The refugees fled as far as Malaysia and Indonesia, but mainly to neighboring countries, with the overwhelming number going to adjacent Bangladesh.

During her two trips to Myanmar, Burgener said she worked with Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on the Rohingya refugee issue, attended a peace conference, and visited refugee camps, particularly in Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh.

Getting the refugees to return home willingly in a safe and dignified manner is a big problem, she said. While Myanmar’s government wants them back, some members of local communities in northern Rakhine State do not.

“I will continue to have this dialogue with everybody,” Burgener said.

She said she is grateful to the government of Bangladesh for hosting around 900,000 Rohingya refugees, which is “really an enormous work.”

Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog, this month’s rotating president of the Security Council, said council members “stressed the importance of undertaking transparent and independent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations” and noted Myanmar’s decision to establish an independent inquiry commission.

He also said members stressed the need to step up efforts, including providing assistance to Myanmar’s social and economic development to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine State.– NNN-XINHUA

Source: NAM News Network