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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

The Government of Myanmar MustRenegotiate the Repatriation Agreement with Bangladesh and Allow UNHCR and Rohingya Representatives from Camps to be Parties to the Agreement

Arakan Rohingya Union and the European Rohingya Councildemand the Government of Myanmar to address the security,citizenship, and human rights issues faced by Rohingya ethnic minority before any step is taken to repatriate the forcefully displace Rohingya from camps in Bangladesh to their original homes in Arakan.

We express theirdeep appreciation to the people and Government of Bangladesh for providing refuge to over a million forcefully displaced Rohingya and for theirpersistent efforts to find a solution to the crisis.  The Government of Bangladesh has signed a bilateral agreement with the Government of Myanmar in good faith for repatriation of Rohingya to their original homes in Arakan/Rakhine state. However, the Government of Myanmar continues to demonstrate the lack transparency and integrity evidenced by its conducts.

Rohingyapeople expressserious concerns over the hostile environment where there is no security guarantee for Rohingyareturnees. Transferring the displaced Rohingya from camps in Bangladesh to camps to other sides of the border will only add to the agony of Rohingya.

While cooperating with the Government of Bangladesh for repatriation of Rohingya, the Government of Myanmar continues to demolish homes in Rohingya villages that are still intact or only partially damaged. The water well (tubewells) have been removed from the Rohingya villages being transported to Sittwe. Thereisstill steady outflow of Rohingyafrom Arakan to camps in Bangladesh. There are major security issues in Rohingya villages in Northern Arakanwhere family members have been attacked and houses have been burned, damaged, andlooted.Most recently, Myanmar authoritieshave reported issued eviction notices to the Rohingyafamilies of theremaining homes in Quarter #5 in Maungdaw East.

The Government of Myanmar continues the NVC (National Verification Card) campaign to further cement the persecution policy and create stateless condition for the Rohingya ethnic minority. The Government has failed to demonstrate that it is working with the Rakhine Commission for implementation of Annan recommendation in good faith.

Wedemandthe Government of Myanmar to:

  • Stop the issuance of eviction notices to Rohingya households, demolition of existing Rohingya homes, leveling the Rohingya villages to plain fields, removal of water wells, and removing the evidence and traces of property ownership by Rohingyainhabitants.
  • Work with the Rakhine Commission with full transparency and due respect to the views and integrity of the Commission members, and fully implement the recommendation of the Annan Commission with benchmark.
  • Agree to renegotiate the repatriation agreement with Bangladesh with full involvement of the UNHCR and representatives from displaced Rohingya camps in Bangladesh in the entire process of the voluntary returns.
  • Initiate a rigorous reconstruction and rehabilitation plan for the returnees in coordination with the UNHCR, international aid groups, and the displaced Rohingyavillage representatives for their return to their original homes/properties with no “transit camps”.
  • Designate “zones of protection” for the Rohingya people to be administered by multinational security forces with full mandate.
  • Clearly address the citizenship, security, human rights, and Buddhist Rakhine militiaissues in the repatriation agreement.
  • Permanently cease the NVC (National Verification Card) campaign, revamp the military’s 1982 Citizenship law, and reinstate the Rohingya’s NRCs (National Registration Certificate).
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