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Switzerland for resolving Rohingya crisis respecting int’l laws

  • Published at 11:09 pm April 5th, 2019
Myanmar-Rohingya issue
File photo: Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, March 7, 2019 Reuters

Needs in Rohingya camps still very high, says Raphael Nageli

Switzerland has reiterated that all efforts towards resolving the Rohingya crisis must be guided by respect for obligations under international laws, particularly human rights law.

The country has also called for full implementation of the recommendations stipulated in the final report of the Advisory Commission on the Rakhine State to resolve the Rohingya crisis, reports UNB

"Switzerland together with the international community will continue to work closely with Myanmar and Bangladesh," Ambassador Raphael Nageli, the assistant state secretary for Asia-Pacific of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland said during an interview recently.

He said they want to see the safety and protection of the Rohingyas and that their voluntary safe and dignified return are addressed in an "effective and comprehensive" manner.

Nageli further said: “Switzerland commends and highly appreciates the way the Bangladesh Government is sheltering and protecting the Rohingya people on humanitarian grounds, despite various socio-economic and political challenges.”

Bangladesh is now hosting over a 1.1 million Rohingya population. Since August 25, 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingyas took shelter in Bangladesh, according to officials in Dhaka.

"The needs in the (Rohingya) camps are still very high," he said after visiting the Rohingya camps on April 1 in Cox’s Bazar.

The Swiss ambassador added: “Switzerland was one of the first countries to respond to the latest crisis with humanitarian assistance and stands firmly by Bangladesh during this difficult period.”

Since 2017, Switzerland has committed more than US$30 million in humanitarian aid to alleviate the sufferings of the refugee, as well as the host communities.

Besides financial contributions and direct action support, Swiss experts are supporting the United Nations (UN) agencies and NGOs on ground in Cox's Bazar.

Ambassador Nageli said Switzerland has a strong commitment to stay engaged with Bangladesh and the affected Rohingya refugees through both humanitarian and development assistance.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation agreement on November 23, 2017. On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on "Physical Arrangement" to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier on March 31, a five-member Swiss delegation arrived in Dhaka from Bern to participate in the consultations.

During their stay in Bangladesh, the Swiss delegation travelled to the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar on April 1, to obtain a firsthand impression about the ongoing humanitarian crisis. 

Ambassador Nageli also visited Myanmar after wrapping up his Bangladesh visit.