Concern Worldwide Cautiously Optimistic About The Plight Of The Rohingya Refugees
Category: Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide has expressed cautious optimism regarding the recent agreement between authorities in Myanmar and Bangladesh but reiterated its worry for the very uncertain future of the Rohingya people. The agreement means that as many as 620,000 refugees living in Bangladesh could return to their home in Myanmar’s Rakhine State after fleeing widespread violence. The agreement was signed by Aung San Suu Kyi who is Myanmar’s de facto leader and the Bangladeshi foreign minister.
Refugees could start returning home within the next two months
The agreement commits the two countries to begin repatriations within the next two months. Brid Kennedy a Regional Director with Concern says whilst obviously it is a step in the right direction, many refugees that have recently arrived in Bangladesh would still be extremely reluctant to return to Myanmar. Ms Kennedy says that whilst Concern welcomes the accord which will see the establishment of a working group over the next few weeks, there still does not appear to be a concrete outcome that would secure the future of the Rohingya people.
Refugees will be reluctant to return
In Myanmar the Rohingya are considered stateless and those that have fled the violence are extremely traumatised by what they have had to endure and see in Rakhine State. People have lost their homes and ability to earn and income. Many have lost loved ones to violence so it comes as no surprise that the people who have fled feel reluctant to return. Ms Kennedy says the most crucial thing required is guaranteed safe return for people who have had to deal with such trauma.
Urgent need for resources
Ms Kennedy offered high praise for the government of Bangladesh and its handling of the crisis. She emphasised the fact that the huge influx of refugees had placed enormous strain on the country and despite the fact that Bangladesh must deal with its own high levels of poverty and massive flooding, the country still showed great hospitality towards the refugees. Obviously, Bangladesh would like to see the refugees return sooner rather than later and there is a lot of hope that a solution will be found that will allow the Rohingya to live peacefully when they do return. In the meanwhile, Ms Kennedy says there is an urgent requirement for resources so that refugees have access to food, water, shelter and sanitation.
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