POST TIME: 26 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
US continues to push for repatriation
Diplomatic Correspondent, Dhaka

US continues
to push for repatriation

The US has said it would continue to work with international organisations to encourage Myanmar to create conditions that would allow voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees to their places of origin or other places of their choosing. It also appreciated the Government of Bangladesh’s ongoing generosity in hosting the Rohingyas, a US department statement published on the website of US Embassy in Bangladesh said yesterday.

The statement said Myanmar’s security forces engaged in a brutal attack against hundreds of thousands of unarmed men, women, and children in a grossly disproportionate response to attacks by militants on security posts in northern Rakhine state two years ago.   

The Myanmar military’s horrific atrocities against Rohingyas caused an exodus of more than 7,40,000 Rohingya people to Bangladesh, it added. The statement, however, said Rakhine state is not the only place in Myanmar where the military has committed violations of human rights over the past 70 years. The lack of accountability and civilian oversight of the military means that military abuses continue today in Rakhine state, as well as in Kachin and Shan states and elsewhere in Myanmar, it noted.

 The US has called upon all those involved to respect human rights, allow unhindered humanitarian access and engage in political dialogue to pursue peace. “We appreciate the Government of Bangladesh’s ongoing generosity in hosting these refugees,” it said.

About the contribution of the US to the Rohingya crisis, the statement said it is the leading contributor of humanitarian assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis, providing nearly USD 542 million since the outbreak of violence in August, 2017. “We continue to call on others to join us in contributing to this humanitarian response,” the statement mentioned.

 “Our thoughts are with the victims of these abuses and the more than one million refugees who have been forced to find refuge in Bangladesh. Justice and accountability are essential for Myanmar’s efforts to build a strong, peaceful, secure, and prosperous democracy. We continue to call on others to support efforts to promote justice and facilitate conditions for voluntary return,” it said.

 It further said August marks two years of release of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on  Rakhine state’s report and recommendations, many of which concern the institutional discrimination against Rohingyas that continues to this day.