A few days ago we reported to you that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, was traveling to refugee camps in Bangladesh to try to sort out the Muslim Rohingya refugee situation. Here is a short article (posted in its entirety) in which Guterres told the press he wants to attempt to repatriate the Rohingya, something we should all cheer about.
However, when asked about third country resettlement the UNHCR chief does say there is resettlement on-going with Canada taking the most Rohingya so far. We still have no confirmation that they are coming to the US.
DHAKA, May 27 (Xinhua) — Bangladesh and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Tuesday agreed to reestablish trilateral mechanism with Myanmar to repatriate remaining 27,000 Rohingya refugees here back to Myanmar.
“Our intention is to reestablish the trilateral mechanism between Bangladesh, UNHCR and Myanmar to create condition for voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar,” visiting UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres told reporters after meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.
According to the UNHCR, over 250,000 Bengali-speaking Myanmar Muslim ethnic minorities, popularly known as Rohingyas, took shelter in Bangladesh in 1991 following alleged atrocities by the Myanmar junta.
Bangladesh, UNHCR and Myanmar signed a trilateral agreement in Dhaka in 1992 to send back the refugees.
Presently some 27,000 refugees are still staying in makeshift camps in Bangladesh’s southeastern coastal district of Cox’s Bazarand hill district of Bandarban bordering Myanmar.
But the trilateral agreement is not working now.
Replying questions, Guterres said the UNHCR has resettlement program for the remaining refugees to third countries, and presently Canada is the highest recipient of the Rohingya refugees.
“Our preferred solution is to create the possibilities for the people to be able to go back to their home in safety, in dignity on a voluntary basis and to be able to be part of construction of their own country,” he said.
See our category “Rohingya Reports” for all the information we have on this Muslim refugee group.