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Rohigya repatriation best way to end crisis: US official

04 Nov 2017, 22:05

Online Desk

Dhaka: US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Simon Henshaw on Saturday categorically said Myanmar has to take back the Rohingya people, who fled to Bangladesh following brutal army crackdown in Rakhine state.

"Responsibility for repatriation of Rohingya people lies with the government of Myanmar...safe and secure repatriation is the best possible way to resolve the crisis," the visiting US official told a press conference at a local hotel.

He said Myanmar has to create a safe and stable environment by ensuring human rights so that the Rohingyas could return to their homes in Rakhine state. 

Washington has been putting continued pressure on Naypyidaw to take back the forcibly displaced Rohingya people, he said adding that quick efforts have to be made to restore their homes and villages.

A US delegation led by Henshaw visited Myanmar and then came to Bangladesh and visited Cox's Bazar camps for two days from Nov 2.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine state since late August during military operations that the United Nations has described as ethnic cleansing and the world's most acute refugee crisis.

The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State described the Rohingya crisis as a complex issue saying there are issues related to transition from the military rule to civilian democracy, differences between the communities in Rakhine and issues between the state and central governments.

He said fleeing of hundreds and thousands of people from Myanmar's Rakhine state at a time is undoubtedly a matter of concern. "We have discussed the matter several times with the Myanmar government and asked Myanmar to ensure safe and secure return of the displaced Rohingya people to their homeland," he added.

He said that Washington was constantly evaluating the situation to make any sanctions against Myanmar.

In this connection, he said that US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who will arrive here tomorrow to co-lead the 'US-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue' will discuss Rohingya crisis along with others bilateral, regional, and global issues.

Referring to his visit in Cox's Bazar Rohingya camps, Henshaw said presence of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees has created humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh. He said the international community and the US is beside Bangladesh to take the load of resolving the crisis. 

Spokesperson of the US State Department Heather Nauert and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat were present at the press conference. 

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