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US envoy: Repatriation of Rohingyas must be safe and voluntary

  • Published at 11:18 pm December 6th, 2018
Web_ US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller_ Dhaka Tribune
Newly appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller speaks to the reporters in Cox's Bazar on Thursday, December 6, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

He described Bangladesh as a strategic US partner in the region and characterized the strong US-Bangladesh relationship as one driven by common interests

Newly appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller on Thursday said repatriation of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh must be safe and voluntary.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting several Rohingya camps and the office of Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Md Abul Kalam. 

The Ambassador Miller emphasised that it is Myanmar’s responsibility to address the root causes of the refugee crisis, including providing the Rohingya access to citizenship, freedom of movement, access to livelihoods, and other key recommendations of the Annan Commission.

He described Bangladesh as a strategic US partner in the region and characterized the strong US-Bangladesh relationship as one driven by common interests.

Ambassador Miller highlighted US sanctions against five Myanmar military and border guard police generals as well as two Myanmar military units.

He welcomed Bangladesh's continued commitment to returns that are fully voluntary, safe, dignified, and based on informed consent.

The US has provided nearly $346 million to assist Rohingyas and host communities in Bangladesh affected by the displacement since the current crisis started in August 2017, said the US Embassy in Dhaka.

In addition, the US contributes more than $200 million annually in development assistance.

Ambassador Miller visited a number of refugee camp facilities, including health clinics, food distribution points, counter trafficking and disaster shelters, and learning centres, in both Ukhiya and Teknaf.