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UNHCR deputy: Difficult to set timeline for Rohingya return

  • Published at 08:22 pm November 28th, 2019
UNHCR-Rohingya
Deputy UNHCR Kelly T Clements addresses a question and answer session at a local hotel in Dhaka on Thursday, November 28, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Everyone including the UN failed the Rohingyas, UNHCR representative says

The deputy United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has not been able to provide any possible timeline as to when Rakhine will be suitable enough for the safe, sustainable and dignified return of the Rohingyas, sheltered in Bangladesh.

“It is extremely difficult to set a timeline (for the return of the Rohingyas), as many other factors are involved with the issue,” Deputy UNHCR Kelly T Clements said on Thursday.

She said this at a question and answer session held at a local hotel in Dhaka, in response to a volley of questions on repatriation.

Meanwhile, the UNHCR Bangladesh Representative Steven Corliss admitted that everyone including the United Nations (UN) failed the Rohingyas time and again.

“We all failed the Rohingyas. They came, they returned and they came back again,” hRohingyas e said at the same event.

Deputy UNHCR Clements appeared to have agreed that the government of Bangladesh and the host communities have been stressed due to the presence of such a large number of Rohingya.

She also said although United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNHCR are working on 43 quick impact projects in 23 areas in Rakhine aimed to ensure sustainability for the Rohingyas when they will return home. She added there is a need for greater access to the state.

About the legal measures in regards to the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, the deputy UNHCR said these measures will provide for hope among the victims.

She also assured the international community’s continuous support and assistance for Bangladesh in looking after the Rohingyas.

She was of the opinion that Rohingyas should be allowed access to education and livelihood.

About the relocation to Bhashanchar the UNHCR Bangladesh representative said they are waiting for the assessment by a UN technical team, in terms of sustainability and protection of the island.

The postponed visit of the UN team will take place soon, he said.

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