WASHINGTON / COX'S BAZAR, BANGLADESH –The United States says it will continue efforts to support Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority through…
WASHINGTON / COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH –
The United States says it will continue efforts to support Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority through humanitarian aid and diplomacy.
A US delegation on Sunday visited a camp hosted by Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar region, where it met with refugees and local officials.
More than 700,000 Rohingya has settled in Bangladesh, and released a major breakdown of Myanmar’s military last year.
US. Officials said that the situation in areas where refugees from Rohingya are expected to resettle in Myanmar are not suitable for a safe return.
“At present, the prospects for potential returns are not sufficient to support a sustainable return of the population,” said Richard Albright, Deputy Assistant State Secretary, who led the US delegation.
WATCH: US delegation visits Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh
Albright said the US had been engaged in talks with the Myanmar authorities in order to facilitate the return of refugees from Rohingya to their homeland .
“We consistently discussed with the Government of Myanmar the need for access to humanitarian actors so that they can reach communities in need. We asked them to make progress on a transparent and efficient process for nationality requirements for Rohingya,” he said. During his visit to Bangladesh, Albright also visited areas in Myanmar, including the Rakhine state, where the majority of Muslims in Rohingya lived.
“These visits are part of the US Embassy’s regular journey to look at our humanitarian aid programs across the country and for to better understand the conditions on the ground, “said the Embassy of Myanmar in a statement last week.
The US has provided humanitarian aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as well as supporting development programs in Myanmar.
Myanmar officials said more more than 5,000 refugees in Bangladesh had been confirmed to return home this week.
Analysts were skeptical of a safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
“Human authorities may have announced that they are ready to receive thousands of refugees from Rohingya, but it is not clear if the refugees themselves feel safe returning home,” said Vikram Nehru, an expert on Southeast Asia at John Hopkins University . VOA.
Nehru added that “a prerequisite for returning refugees should be an international oversight to ensure refugees’ security when returning.”
Muslims from Rohingya live in fear after being told that the authorities in Bangladesh and Myanmar are considering the return of thousands of refugees to Myanmar as part of an agreement reached last month. The official return is set to begin this month.
Some Rohingya, who fear persecution on their return, have said they are considering taking their own lives to avoid being sent back to the Rakhine state, where Myanmar’s military is accused of carrying out a genocide campaign against the minority group.
“If we go back, they can kill us, they can torture us. We’ve already lost everything once,” said a man from the Jamtoli camp, speaking on terms of anonymity that was told by the laymen that he and his family was on the list.
Bangladesh refugee aid and rehabilitation commissioner, Abul Kalam, have reported that Human Rights Watch Rohingya on the list “was not chosen because they would especially go back.”
UN The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, has urged both countries to scrape the plan to return people this month, alerting the Rohingya face a “high risk of persecution” if it returned.
The plan may also “breach obligations under customary international law to enforce the principle of non-refoulement,” she added.
Bangladesh will not send anyone at this time, “Nay San Lwin, a rohingya activist, told the VOA.” Force survivors and refugees back to the killing fields where the genocide is still ongoing is a part of genocide. “
Myanmar government and its military have come under international criticism of their management of the Rohingya crisis.
Various international rights groups have also criticized the country’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in order not to prevent violence against Rohingya.
] On Monday, Amnesty International dismissed Aung San Suu Kyi’s highest honor for her failure to criticize or stop the violence against her country’s Rohingya population.
Under his Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1991. In 2009, Amnesty gave her highest honor and named her an ambassador for conscience.
But since she became Myanmar’s actual civilian leader in 2016, she and her administration have stayed It criticized all over the world for failing to condemn or attempt to stop the cruelties committed by the military against Rohingya.
VOA’s Victor Beatie and Joshua Carroll contributed to this report.