Myanmar promises same freedom for Rohingyas as other nationals

Published on: June 30, 2018
A leaked copy of an MoU, signed recently by Myanmar and the UN refugee and development agencies, says the Myanmar government will work for a comprehensive and durable solution to the Rohingya crisis

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Rohingya refugees cross the Naf River with an improvised raft to reach Bangladesh at Sabrang near Teknaf, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on November 10, 2017 Reuters
 
The Myanmar government has agreed to ensure that, the Rohingya people currently staying at the refugee camps in Bangladesh, upon return to their homeland, will enjoy the same freedom of movement as all other Myanmar nationals in the Rakhine state. 

This freedom will be ensured in conformity with the existing laws and regulations of the country, as well as the recommendations made by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, according to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Myanmar, the United Nations Refugee Agency – UNHCR, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on June 6. 

The Dhaka Tribune obtained a copy of the MoU, but its authenticity could not be verified. 

According to the copy of the tripartite agreement, the Myanmar government will be responsible for the safe return and reintegration of the Rohingyas into the Rakhine society. 

The signatories to the MoU will also ensure that, after necessary verification, the Rohingyas who left Myanmar will return voluntarily and safely to their own households and original places of residence, or to the nearest safe places. 

Myanmar will conduct the verification process of the returnees in accordance with the criteria for eligibility and supporting evidence as set out in the Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State – signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar on November 23, 2017. 

“Children under foster care and born out of unwarranted incidents are to be verified by a Court of Bangladesh,” the MoU further states. 

The UN agencies will operate within their respective mandates as stated in the Framework for Operational Cooperation, and will provide humanitarian and development assistance in full accordance with the existing laws, rules and regulations in Myanmar. 
Activities by the UNDP must be detailed in project documents to be signed by the Myanmar government before implementation. 

The UN agencies will also support Myanmar's solutions to the issue of displacement and its implementation of recommendations by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, the MoU further states.

This article was first published on Dhaka Tribune