Conditions not conducive for voluntary repatriation of Rohingyas: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

The Indian government had told the apex court that besides being a security threat because of links to the ISI and the IS, Rohingyas will 'exhaust natural resources' meant for Indian citizens. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team UN Security Council Feb 14, 2018, 05.29 AM (IST)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi informed the Security Council on Tuesday that Myanmar has failed to put in place conditions for the safe return of Rohingyas.

"Let me be clear: conditions are not yet conducive to the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said.

Grandi statement comes as US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Myanmar government has denied "ethnic cleansing" in Rakhine State.

"The causes of their flight have not been addressed, and we have yet to see substantive progress on addressing the exclusion and denial of rights that has deepened over the last decades, rooted in their lack of citizenship," Grandi told the Security Council.

The UN refugee chief said that while Rohingyas' exodus had significantly decreased, however, the "flow" continued as some 1,500 refugees arrived in Bangladesh this month.

The UN predicts over 8,50,000 Rohingyas have crossed over to Bangladesh since August 25th last year ever since the Myanmar Army allegedly started persecuting them.

Bangladesh had reached a deal with Myanmar in December last year to repatriate nearly 700,000 Rohingyas but reports said several refugees did not wish to return without guarantees of safety.

Meanwhile, French UN ambassador Francois Delattre told the United Nations Security Council that the massacre of Rohingyas "could constitute crimes against humanity."

Story highlights

Grandi statement comes US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Myanmar government has denied "ethnic cleansing" in Rakhine State.