The Rohingya have the right to go back to their home and feel safe and welcome
Over a million refugees have been based in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar since the Rohingya influx of 2017, with little sign from Myanmar that they are serious about even beginning to find solutions regarding their repatriation.
Indeed, that was the sentiment of the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, who earlier this week questioned the goodwill of Myanmar with respect to the repatriation of the Rohingya sheltered in Cox’s Bazar.
This situation is unfortunately nothing new -- the Myanmar army continue their merciless assault in Rakhine state, and till date, have shown little sympathy towards the Rohingya, let alone consider treating them as citizens of Myanmar.
Myanmar’s past words of repatriation ring hollow and insincere; the Rohingya have the right to go back to their home and feel safe and welcome, not to be forced back to a place where they fear for their lives and will continue to be targeted.
To that end, the international community must step up and take action. It is the lack of urgency displayed by the international community in holding Myanmar accountable that has led it to act with the impunity and disregard that it displays now.
It is time Myanmar was held to account, once and for all. It cannot be allowed to get away with vague statements and hollow promises. The Rohingya have lived in Rakhine state for a very long time, and have every right to be full citizens, with all the dignity and security that citizenship entails