Myanmar's position unacceptable | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:24 PM, October 11, 2017

Editorial

Myanmar's position unacceptable

Any repatriation agreement must involve UN

The proposal by Myanmar that repatriation of Rohingyas be based on the 1992 deal is unrealistic. Unrealistic primarily because Myanmar is insisting on the clause that these displaced people must have proof of citizenship, i.e. they must produce either citizenship identity cards or national registration cards or other relevant documentation. The proposal is ludicrous because people fleeing conflict zones hardly have time to collect their documents and this is what has happened in the case of the more than half a million Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh since late August.

We agree with the foreign minister that although Bangladesh welcomes the engagement of the Myanmar government at an official capacity by forming a joint committee, Bangladesh must continue to insist on greater involvement of the world community to pressurise Myanmar to stop the violence being perpetrated in Rakhine state. That another 40,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border in the last 10 days merely reinforces the argument that the situation in Rakhine is anything but peaceful. Until such time comes when peace is restored in Myanmar by the Myanmar government, the humanitarian crisis involving the Rohingyas will not end.

Bangladesh has begun registering displaced Rohingyas in the country. The task is a mammoth one but authorities are being assisted by the UN. Hence, any repatriation programme will inevitably require the participation of the UN. The Bangladesh government, with the help of the UN, is carrying out the registration of Rohingyas on Bangladeshi soil and the authenticity of the records is unquestionable. Myanmar must come to an agreement with Bangladesh that will be monitored and assisted by the UN, for smooth repatriation of these people from Rakhine.

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