The United States has shared information with The Gambia in connection with the case the latter brought forward against Myanmar under the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over atrocities committed against the Rohingyas. "We stand ready to support a holistic transitional justice process to address the long history of atrocities once such a process becomes viable to respect the demands of victims and survivors for truth, reparation, justice, and non-recurrence," US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, said. Acknowledging the genocide as the first step, not the last, she said, all must take the next steps together to bring an end to the violence and prevent the recurrence of atrocities. Further delay in commencing Rohingya repatriation may put entire region at risk: Bangladesh Govt Zeya was speaking on the occasion of six years since the start of the horrific genocide against Rohingyas, said the US Department of State. She thanked members of the Rohingya diaspora who joined in. "I applaud your resilience in the face of ongoing persecution," she said. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Myanmar’s military brutally attacked Rohingya communities. Systematic acts of violence, including torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and mass killings led to largescale displacement and loss of thousands of innocent lives. The Myanmar military targeted one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in the country, forcing over 740,000 Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh. The rippling impact of those attacks continues today, six years later. Help us return home in Myanmar, Rohingyas appeal Bangladesh hosts over a million Rohingya refugees, with significant numbers seeking refuge in nearby countries. Many more remain internally displaced in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. "During my visit to Bangladesh in July, I met with Rohingya refugees, who shared personal stories of the horrific violence they and their families endured in Burma and the fear of continued persecution that prevents their return," Zeya said. The gradual loss of rights, citizenship, homes, and even their lives in the years leading up to the 2016-2017 outbreak of atrocities made clear that the regime sought to destroy Rohingya communities based on a false, discriminatory narrative of ethnic and religious differences. This false narrative attempts to obscure the fact that Rohingyas have been an integral part of Myanmar society for generations. "We are unwavering in our commitment to provide assistance to survivors and victims, seek accountability for those responsible, and pursue justice for the survivors and victims," Zeya said. US to pursue justice for Rohingyas and all people of Myanmar: Blinken In terms of providing assistance, the United States is the leading single donor of life-saving humanitarian assistance to this cause. They have provided more than $2.1 billion to assist those affected by the crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region since 2017. Recognizing that Rohingyas cannot safely return to their homeland in Myanmar under current conditions, she said, resettlement is another important way in which we contribute. Since 2009, the United States has warmly welcomed nearly 13,000 Rohingyas from the region, including from Bangladesh. "Our work is not just humanitarian, we also must move towards accountability," Zeya said. 6th Year of Rohingya Influx: Groups seek justice for 'ethnic genocide' in Myanmar The US also provides support to the UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, which has a mandate to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. US support includes providing the mechanism with $2 million of funding to strengthen its ability to conduct open-source investigations and to protect witnesses and victims. "We are not alone in seeking accountability. On Wednesday, we joined 12 other nations on the UN Security Council in a joint statement calling out the continued, unrelenting violence perpetrated by the military regime," Zeya said. This statement called on the regime to restore the rights of the Rohingyas. On Wednesday, the United States expanded its Myanmar-related sanctions on authorities to include any foreign individual or entity operating in the jet fuel sector of Myanmar’s economy and designated two individuals and three entities under this authority. This expansion follows US sanction actions already taken this year that designated Burma’s Ministry of Defense, its two largest regime-controlled banks, the Ministry of Energy, and other individual military-affiliated cronies. Zeya said they will continue to use their sanctions authorities to deprive the military regime of the resources that enable it to oppress its people and urge others to take similar accountability measures. Sixth year of genocidal attacks against Rohingya: A UN expert demands accountability for the violence "Justice for victims is also crucial. The United States coordinates with international partners and NGOs to support the Rohingya courageously seeking justice in the courts of Argentina for the atrocities committed against them," she said. Zeya said they are actively working with civil society and members of the Rohingya community to document the atrocities and other abuses committed against them. Secretary Blinken’s determination in March 2022 that members of Myanmar’s military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya was a historic occasion. This marked only the eighth time the United States has come to such a critical conclusion, she said. "We must take into account the needs of survivors, including creating the conditions to enable refugees’ safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return. We must address the military’s continued impunity for human rights abuses. And, we must support the fight for justice for those who have suffered," Zeya said. The US official said, "Taking these steps is how we can ensure a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Myanmar that respects the human rights of all."
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has said conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State are currently “not conducive” to the sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. “UNHCR’s position on returns of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar remains unchanged,” said the UN agency sharing its assessment. The UN agency said it is aware of the visit of a Myanmar delegation to Bangladesh to meet with a group of Rohingya refugees — on a bilateral pilot project between the two countries on possible repatriation. “UNHCR is not involved in these discussions,” it said in a statement on Bangladesh, Myanmar pilot project on Rohingya returns. The statement was shared by the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific on Sunday (March 19, 2023) night. Read More: OIC members must share responsibility for sustainable solution to Rohingya crisis: Momen At the same time, the UNHCR reiterated that every refugee has a right to return to their home country based on an informed choice, but that no refugee should be forced to do so. Bangladesh has consistently reaffirmed its commitment to voluntary and sustainable repatriation since the onset of the crisis, it said. In support of efforts to preserve the right to return, UNHCR considers consultation of and dialogue with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by all parties in relation to the conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State as important to enable refugees to make an informed choice about return and build confidence amongst the community. “This is particularly important as many refugees have reiterated that they do hope to go home to Myanmar as soon as conditions allow,” UNHCR said. Read More: FM calls on global community to raise their voices to ensure safe return of Rohingyas Following the events of August 2017, UNHCR has also consistently encouraged Myanmar to expeditiously verify the previous residence in Myanmar of refugees in Bangladesh, as part of efforts to lift any administrative obstacles to return when the refugees decide to do so. “UNHCR therefore supports efforts that could lead to the verification of all refugees and pave the way for eventual return. This most recently included providing logistical support to members of the Myanmar delegation to cross into Bangladesh for the technical verification process,” said the UN agency. UNHCR said it will continue to work with Bangladesh and Myanmar to ensure that Rohingya refugees maintain the right to return when they choose to do so, based on a fully informed and voluntary decision. UNHCR will also support efforts to create conditions that would be conducive to the sustainable return of Rohingya refugees in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Read More: US announces $26m more in assistance for Rohingyas, host communities In Bangladesh, UNHCR will continue to support building the skills and capacities of the refugees to facilitate their eventual return and sustainable reintegration in Myanmar. The 2023 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in Bangladesh was recently launched and UNHCR calls upon the international community’s continued robust support for this appeal which is currently 10 percent funded.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Myanmar should let the international organizations to work in the Rakhine state to create a proper environment for the dignified return of the forcibly displaced Rohingya people. “Myanmar should allow international organizations to work in Rakhine state,” she said when UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer met her at her official residence Ganobhaban, according to a press briefing by PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim. “We’re pursuing this with Myanmar and also discussed it with them. But no response has yet come. We want to solve it. How long can we host so many people?” the premier was quoted as saying. She said some Rohingya people are involved in drug, human trafficking and other social problems. In this regard, Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh had brought back the refugees of the Chittagong Hill Tracts area from India through signing the CHT peace accord in 1997. Also read: Redouble efforts to hold perpetrators accountable, deliver justice to Rohingyas: UN expert The UN special envoy said she visited Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and spoke with the Rohingyas. Now it is essential to create an atmosphere conducive to their dignified return to Myanmar, she said. She said all including the UN agencies and NGOs are working for Rohingyas in the camps. Appreciating Bangladesh for its Rohingya management, the UN envoy said Dhaka needs a lot of support in dealing with the Rohingya issue. Heyzer said she also visited Myanmar and told its military government to find out a solution to the Rohingya crisis. Also read: UK announces new sanctions, legal action in support of Myanmar’s Rohingya community She called for an ASEAN-Bangladesh initiative to resolve the Rohingya crisis. She said the Rohingya issue should be an agenda in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' forum. PM’s ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin, PM’s Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present at the meeting.
The United States has welcomed the inclusive path forward envisioned by the National Unity Government (NUG) and other pro-democracy groups in Myanmar and their pledge to reform the 1982 citizenship law. The US also welcomed NUG-pledged other actions intended to protect the rights of Rohingya and members of other ethnic minority groups. "These steps will be necessary to safeguard the human rights and human dignity of all people in Myanmar, including Rohingya," said Ned Price, the Spokesperson at the US Department of State, in a statement marking the fourth anniversary of the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State. Read:Myanmar’s NUG in Exile: Safe, dignified Rohingya repatriation “utmost priority” The United States said it will continue to partner with the people of Myanmar to support peace and justice, critical humanitarian assistance, a return to the path to democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Four years ago, Myanmar's military launched a horrific "ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya in northern Rakhine State. The brutality of the military’s atrocities on that day shocked the conscience of the international community. The United States said they will continue to promote justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for atrocities and other human rights abuses. "To that end, we have imposed visa restrictions and financial sanctions on top military leaders and units, including those linked to serious human rights abuse against Rohingya, and suppression of peaceful protests since the February 1 coup," Price said. The US said they have also supported the UN fact finding and investigative mechanisms focused on Myanmar; and pressed Myanmar to implement the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures order. "We recognize the Rohingya has already suffered decades of grave human rights abuses, and that many of those abuses continue today," said the Spokesperson. Read:4th anniversary of Rohingya exodus arrives with repatriation a far cry The US remembered the victims and recommitted to pursuing and demanding accountability for those responsible for these atrocities and other human rights abuses, and seeking justice for victims. The US recognized the need to address the root causes of this violence and hold perpetrators accountable to help prevent such atrocities from recurring. Today, the same military leaders who perpetrated the February 1 coup are committing "abuses" against pro-democracy activists and members of ethnic and religious communities across the country. "We have seen the same light infantry brigades that terrorized Rohingya communities in 2017 inflict brutal violence on pro-democracy protestors since the coup," said the Spokesperson. The coup and the brutality of the military’s subsequent crackdown have exacerbated the already precarious situation for vulnerable people across Myanmar, including Rohingya. The United States continues to underscore the need for unhindered humanitarian access to all people requiring assistance in Myanmar. At the launch of the 2021 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in May, the United States announced nearly $155 million in new assistance to sustain critical efforts to support Rohingya refugees and members of the host communities in Bangladesh and internally displaced Rohingya and other affected people in Myanmar. Read:Involve locals in Rohingya management: Speakers The US said their assistance will help meet the immediate needs of over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh, including women and children. This new funding, which includes life-saving Covid assistance, brought US' total humanitarian aid for those affected by the crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region, to more than $1.3 billion – including more than $1.1 billion in Bangladesh and more than $238 million in Myanmar – since August 2017. "We encourage other members of the international community to likewise support peace building and social cohesion work in Rakhine State, and to contribute to the Joint Response Plan," Price said.
Bangladesh will reiterate its position seeking quick and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas as Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen left here for New York on Sunday morning to attend two important events at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). One of the events will be on Myanmar's current situation where Bangladesh will reiterate its call to the international community for quick and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas, said Dr Momen. "Our priority is repatriation. They (Rohingyas) must be repatriated. We want to make Rohingya repatriation a condition," he said, mentioning that much has been talked about democracy and the overall situation in Myanmar. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and Bhasan Char. Also read: Rohingya repatriation looks uncertain: Hasina tells UNGA President No Rohingya was repatriated over the last four years amid the "absence of conducive environment" in Rakhine State and lack of confidence among the Rohingyas, officials said. Dr Momen said President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Volkan Bozkir invited him during his recent visit to Bangladesh. "There’ll be very good discussion. Many will join it," said the Foreign Minister.
The 2021 Joint Response Plan (JRP) of US$943 million for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis will be launched on Tuesday. The US$943 million plan seeks to meet the needs of more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and 472,000 Bangladeshis in the surrounding host communities in Cox’s Bazar District. Most Rohingya refugees, some 740,000, fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has called for renewed international commitment, support and solidarity for Rohingyas ahead of next Tuesday’s donor conference. It is not clear yet whether Bhasan Char is included under the JRP or not. The 2021 JRP brings together the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh, and 134 UN agencies and NGO partners to target almost 1.4 million people this year, said UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic in Geneva recently. Also read: UNHCR calls for strong global support for Rohingyas Jointly co-hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the virtual 2021 JRP launch event will highlight the most immediate needs and ongoing humanitarian response. The virtual 2021 JRP launch event is scheduled to run from 10:00am to 12:00 pm CEST Geneva (2:00pm – 4:00pm GMT+6 in Dhaka; 3:00pm – 5:00pm GMT+7 in Bangkok) on Tuesday (May 18). The event will be live streamed. Last year, the United Nations appealed for more than US$1 billion to meet the needs of the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar District. At the end of 2020, this appeal was just 59.4% funded. "We stress that the international community must not only maintain support for refugees and their hosts, but also adapt to new and emerging needs and pursue the search for durable solutions," said the Spokesperson. More than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and 472,000 Bangladeshis in the surrounding host communities in Cox’s Bazar District are brought under the plan. Also read: Don’t worry about Rohingya relocation to Bhasan Char: Dhaka to UNHCR Most Rohingya refugees, some 740,000, fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017. With the refugee crisis in its fourth year, Bangladesh needs robust and sustained international support to ensure the safety and wellbeing of stateless Rohingya refugees, saidMahecic. This must not become a forgotten crisis. Both Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh, having generously hosted them for decades, must see the world standing with them, said the Spokesperson. Adding to the complexity of this crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded vulnerabilities for refugees and host communities alike. To date, the Government of Bangladesh, with the support of the humanitarian community, has effectively managed the COVID-19 response and the spread of the disease in the Rohingya camps and surrounding areas, though the trajectory of the virus remains unpredictable, UNHCR said. A coordinated and inclusive response has saved lives. However, it is critical to ensure the continued delivery of all humanitarian assistance and protection services. Also read: Redouble efforts to find solution to Rohingya crisis: UNHCR The needs of Rohingya refugees reach beyond subsistence and physical safety. Refugees, like any other people, cannot be allowed to wait for years without access to education and options for a decent life and a meaningful future. In order to mitigate the risks of people taking dangerous onward journeys, more must be done to ensure that refugees have hope in Bangladesh, and of a future back home in Myanmar. Otherwise, they may increasingly risk such journeys by land or sea to find a solution elsewhere. The search for durable solutions must remain focused on the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees to their homes in Myanmar, when conditions allow them to do so. However, the ongoing crisis and political instability in Myanmar have added new layers of complexity to this challenge.
The people of Myanmar have huge expectations from the United Nations and the international community following the Feb. 1 coup, with many calling for sanctions and some urging the U.N. to send peacekeepers to stop the killings of peaceful protesters seeking a return to democracy, the top U.N. official in the country said Friday.
UN Security Council members have reiterated the need for addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine State and creating conditions necessary for the safe, voluntary, sustainable and dignified return of Rohingyas.
People live in hope. Ronhingya refugees also do so and thus they spent another, 2020, that they would have a dignified return to their homeland in Myanmar. But, the hope for a better day did not come.