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UNHCR calls for lasting solutions of Rohingya crisis

  • Published at 05:48 pm August 21st, 2020
Rohingya Camp
File photo of a Rohingya camp Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The solution to the plight of the Rohingyas lies in Myanmar, it says

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has called for renewed support and solutions for the displaced and stateless Rohingya communities both within and outside Myanmar.

"The international community must not only maintain support for refugees and their host communities, but also adapt to critical needs and expand the search for solutions," UNHCR said on Friday marking the three years of latest exodus of Rohingyas who fled Myanmar and sought sanctuary in Bangladesh from August 2017 onwards.

Saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has added additional complexities, an UNHCR statement said Bangladesh has demonstrated a profound humanitarian commitment to Rohingyas.

Bangladesh has ensured Rohingyas' protection and extended life-saving humanitarian support, and now hosts nine out of 10 Rohingya refugees registered in the Asia-Pacific region, the UNHCR said.

"This generosity must be acknowledged through continued investment in both Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities."

Ultimately, the UN refugee agency said, the solution to the plight of the Rohingyas lies in Myanmar, and in comprehensively implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, to which Myanmar government has committed.

"Creating conditions that are conducive to the Rohingya people's safe and sustainable return will require whole of society engagement, resuming and enhancing the dialogue between the Myanmar authorities and Rohingya refugees, as well as other measures that help inspire trust," said the statement.

"These include lifting restrictions on freedom of movement, reconfirming that internally displaced Rohingya can return to their own villages and providing a clear pathway towards citizenship," it added.

Rohingya communities estimate that up to three-quarters of the Rohingya people are living outside Myanmar while UNHCR and the Bangladesh government have individually registered over 860,000 Rohingya refugees in the refugee settlements in Cox's Bazar.

"Outside of Myanmar, our collective efforts must be directed not only to ensuring the dignity and well-being of the Rohingya today but also on preserving their hopes and improving prospects for their futures," said UNHCR.

Respecting and recognizing Rohingyas courage and capacities means ensuring they are not forgotten as the crisis enters a fourth year, it observed.