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UN expert commends Bangladesh for providing safe haven to Rohingyas

ANI | Updated: Dec 20, 2021 10:47 IST

New York [US], December 20 (ANI): A UN independent expert has commended Bangladesh for providing a safe haven to Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.
"Bangladesh saved untold numbers of lives when it opened its arms and hearts to Rohingya people who survived these most unspeakable of horrors inflicted on them by the Myanmar military", said Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar at the end of his first official visit to Bangladesh.
"All who value human rights owe Bangladesh a debt of gratitude", he added, acknowledging that the responsible to resolve the emergency rests upon Myanmar.
"I will do everything in my capacity to push for a stronger, more coordinated international response to this crisis, including the imposition of pressure on the Myanmar military and for concrete measures to hold the military junta fully accountable for this crisis," the UN expert said.
During his mission, the Special Rapporteur met with refugees in Cox's Bazar as well as those who were relocated to Bhasan Char Island. "Nearly every Rohingya person I spoke with on this mission...want[ed] to return home as soon as they can do so voluntarily, safely, sustainably, and with dignity", he said, adding that we must ensure their safe and voluntary return to Myanmar.
Andrews offered a number of recommendations from his mission, notably that the Rohingya community must be provided with security, educational opportunity, access to health care, and the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities - especially in Bashan Char, according to UN News.
"Successfully addressing each of these key areas is in the interest, not only of the Rohingya community, but of everyone who shares the goal of a successful and sustained repatriation of the Rohingya community back to where they most want to go, home", he underscored.

The Special Rapporteur commended Bangladesh for its partnership in accountability measures and noted how critical it was that "the rights and dignity of the Rohingya people be respected, protected and promoted".
"Education will provide Rohingya youth with opportunities that could deter them from negative coping mechanisms, reducing security vulnerabilities in the camps, and reducing security vulnerabilities for all", he flagged.
During his visit, Tom Andrews stated that the international community has a responsibility to support the Rohingya, arguing that Bangladesh cannot and should not shoulder the responsibility alone.
He further expressed his desire to work with Bangladesh "as a friend", to continue his reporting, and to continue his conversations and engagement with "the remarkable people here".
"Most of all, I look forward to returning to a Myanmar where justice, human rights and human decency finally prevail, and I can meet with the Rohingya community not as refugees but as citizens in their own country, Myanmar," the Special Rapporteur added. (ANI)