Myanmar, UN sign pact on initial steps for Rohingya return
Sofian Khan: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by Myanmar and the UN yesterday, which can result in the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya people currently leading miserable lives in the makeshift camps in Bangladesh.The MoU promises to establish a “framework of cooperation” to create conditions for “voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” repatriation of Rohingya refugees, but does not address Myanmar’s denial of citizenship for the minority.
Myanmar’s government said it hoped the pact would hasten repatriation, but rights groups still doubt it will let many Rohingya return or can guarantee the safety of those who do. Myanmar’s statement didn’t mention Rohingya, reflecting the government and the Burmese majority’s insistence there is no such ethnic group in Myanmar. Instead it referred to them as “displaced persons.”
The two countries agreed to begin the Rohingya repatriation. But refugees fear for their lives in Myanmar without international monitoring while Myanmar insisted they have identity documents, which most Rohingya have been denied.