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USAID envoy seeks sincere actions from Myanmar to ensure Ronghiya’s safe, dignified return

Lou Aguila

Bangkok ( BT)  The Myanmar government must first show ‘clear signs of sincerity’ of its recalibrated position of allowing the Rohingya back to their communities, particularly in violence-riddled Rakhine State of the country.

Mark Green, the administrator of USAID (United States Agency for International Development, stressed this statement at the conclusion of his three-day visit that took him at the heart of a refugee camp in Bangladesh and few surviving Rohingya communities in Rakhine region.

Green is seeking assurance from the Myanmar government that the Rohingya will no longer be subjected to the same harsh treatment that forced them out of their ancestral land in the first place.

The USAID administrator believes a large number of Rohingyas will start their journey back to their homeland once officials from Myanmar begin to take actions that would ensure their safety and wellbeing upon return.

“That reinforces the importance here of clear signs of sincerity of the government’s stated position of welcoming back. Rohingya in a safe, secure and dignified manner,” Green told Reuters.

“We would strongly encourage the government to take those concrete steps which are a demonstration of the ability for Rohingya to return under those conditions.”

Green admitted in the press briefing that he was moved by the sense of hopelessness Ronghiya refugees are currently enduring in several refugee camps across Bangladesh.

“Struck by the sense of hopelessness that so many Muslims nearby feel – the lack of access to health care, education, ability to move, access to livelihoods … that kind of hopelessness is obviously disturbing — it’s also something that has to be addressed,” said Green, who promised an additional aid of $44 million from the United States to the Rohingya and other religious minorities living under persecution in Myanmar.

Around 700,000 Rohingya have abandoned their homeland in Rakhine state to escape what the White House called an ethnic cleansing being undertaken by the Myanmar official, particularly its military sector. The Myanmar government denied the allegation, saying the military campaigns in Rakhine state were aimed to curtail the activities of Bengali terrorists roaming in the region.

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