Rohingya repatriation: UNHCR, UNDP signs extension of MoU with Myanmar


The Daily Star [Bangladesh] – TRANSCEND Media Service

Photo: Reuters/File

28 May 2019 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed extension of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Myanmar for one year aimed at creating conducive conditions for voluntary and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya from Bangladesh.

The MoU was first signed in Naypyiday on June 6 last year, which has been extended for one more year.

The MoU provides a framework of cooperation to create improved and resilient livelihoods for all communities living in northern Rakhine state, according to a press release.

All the parties – UNHCR, UNDP and Myanmar’s Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population – have reaffirmed their full commitment to the timely and effective implementation of the MoU, it said.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a deal on repatriation of the Rohingya in November, three months after some 750,000 Rohingya had fled military crackdown by the Myanmar military.

Repatriation was scheduled to start in November last year, but the Rohingyas did not agree, saying the conditions in Myanmar were not conducive.

Talking about the extension of the tripartite MoU, Ro Nay San Lwin, coordinator of Free Rohingya Coalition, a worldwide network of Rohingya diaspora, said to The Daily Star that it is regrettable that the UN is cooperating with Myanmar, which is not doing anything to improve the conditions of Rakhine for their return.

“UN agencies have not even consulted the Rohingyas, the survivors of genocide,” he told The Daily Star from Germany over phone.

There is no guarantee of safety of the Rohingya or their citizenship there. The genocide survivors cannot return to a country under such conditions, he said, demanding that the UN should expose these to the world.

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