The UN Refugee Agency and the UNDP yesterday signed an extension of an MoU with Myanmar for one year. The deal is aimed at creating conducive conditions for voluntary and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh.
The memorandum of understanding was signed in Naypyidaw on June 6 last year.
The MoU provides a framework of cooperation to create improved and resilient livelihoods for all communities living in northern Rakhine state, according to a press release issued yesterday.
All the parties -- UNHCR, UNDP and Myanmar’s labour, immigration and population ministry -- have reaffirmed their full commitment to the timely and effective implementation of the MoU, it said.
Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a repatriation deal in November 2017, around three months after some 750,000 Rohingyas had fled a military crackdown in Myanmar.
Repatriation was scheduled to start in November last year, but the Rohingyas did not agree, saying the conditions in Myanmar were not conducive.
Ro Nay San Lwin, coordinator of Free Rohingya Coalition, a worldwide network of Rohingya diaspora, expressed regret that the UN was cooperating with Myanmar, which was not doing anything to improve the conditions in Rakhine.
“The UN agencies have not even consulted the Rohingyas, the survivors of genocide,” he told The Daily Star from Germany by phone yesterday.
There is no guarantee of safety of the Rohingyas and their citizenship. The genocide survivors cannot return to the country under such conditions, he added.
He demanded the UN expose the lack of conducive conditions to the world.