Bangladesh, Myanmar to form 'working group' on refugee crisis

07 October, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Myanmar's Rohingya beg for help: 'People are starving'

"Myanmar has made a proposal to take back the Rohingya refugees", the minister told reporters.

Mark Lowcock, head of the UN's humanitarian office, said: "This flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet, it's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya (who are) still in Myanmar, we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus".

Some 2,000 Rohingya refugees a day continue to stream across the border to Bangladesh, bringing the total number people who have fled there from violence in Myanar since late August to an estimated 515,000, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.

"The Rohingya fled to Bangladesh without any legal documents and it is hard to prove their identity", he told AFP.

A spokeswoman for Save the Children humanitarian response team in Bangladesh described the fast-growing influx of refugees from Myanmar as the biggest challenge to efforts to save the young refugees and their families.

Haque's position runs contrary to New Delhi's stance that Rohingya refugees in India pose a national security threat amid fears of radicalisation. So far the government of Bangladesh has been able to contain that. It has not moved into a security area. "It is the responsibility of the State not to allow it to happen", the Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary said, even as he explained how concerns over security, radicalisation et al should not come in the way of dealing with it what is fundamentally a humanitarian issue.

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Bangladesh has garnered worldwide praise for its generosity towards Rohingya people, but those who took refuge in India do not get sufficient attention from the world.

Myanmar has come under global criticism for barring aid groups, journalists and other outsiders from independently traveling to the region to see the situation there.

Lowcock said talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh on a repatriation plan were a useful first step. While External Affairs Minister Swaraj had not mentioned the issue during her address at the UNGA, India's stance at UNHRC in Geneva was much more on the lines of what Bangladesh expected.

The Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and most are stateless.

The advisory commission led by Annan had recommended that the government hold perpetrators of serious human rights violations against Muslims in Rakhine accountable and ensure the right to freedom of movement for all residents of Rakhine.

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