- A mockery of repatriation deal
Feb 13, 2018-Ten Rohingya Muslim men with their hands bound kneel as members of the Myanmar security forces stand guard in Inn Din village. That repatriation of the Rohingya refugees will be meaningless without creating a favourable environment for their return is beginning to be clear. New evidence compiled by the Amnesty International illustrate how a defiant Myanmar, even after the signing of a bilateral repatriation deal, continues its anti-Rohingya campaign as remaining members of the community there face forced starvation, abductions, rapes and other forms of sexual violence. Unless there is a dramatic change in Myanmar’s policy towards the Rohingyas, the same fate awaits the refugees on return.
We have repeatedly said that the deal will work only if Myanmar creates a condition for the safe, voluntary return of the Rohingyas by giving them full citizenship rights. The crisis being a complex one, it needs a holistic solution involving not only structural changes creating greater opportunities for the ethnic minority but also their reintegration and rightful recognition as part of that society. So far, the world leaders have failed to come up with anything more than perfunctory criticism-which has clearly fallen on deaf ears. The immediate priority is to put an end to Myanmar’s anti-Rohingya campaign. But for a lasting solution, the international community must find a way, through tougher sanctions and greater diplomatic engagement, to make the country accept its citizens in a way acceptable to the latter.
Published: 13-02-2018 08:09