Rakhine not favourable for repatriation: UN envoy

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 21:28, Jul 23, 2019 | Updated : 21:35, Jul 23, 2019

Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy for Myanmar, briefs the Security Council on the situation in Myanmar. UN PHOTOThe situation at Rakhine is not conducive for the repatriation of Rohingyas, the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar informed Bangladesh.
Christine Schraner Burgener made the observation on Tuesday (Jul 23) after she came to Dhaka following a 10-day visit to Myanmar.
Burgener visited Rakhine on a very limited scale and had meetings with government officials, representatives of civil society, think-tanks, eminent personalities and international NGOs, the UN country team and the diplomatic corps.
According to a source at the ministry, during a meeting with Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, she described the ground reality as “not favourable for repatriation”
Responding to queries made by Bangladeshi officials, she said that out of the 26 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rakhine, only one has been shut down.
She, however, didn’t go into details about why she didn’t visit Rohingya camps in Bangladesh.
During Burgener’s five visits to Bangladesh, she has visited the camps in Cox’s Bazar only once so far.
Another foreign ministry official said that during the meeting with Secretary Haque, she decided to visit the camps on Wednesday (Jul 24).
He said that she has admitted to having very limited access in Rakhine and that she visited only places permitted by the Myanmar government.
During the meeting, Burgener was grilled by Dhaka about why she lied at a diplomatic briefing held in Myanmar last week, according to the official.
A house is seen on fire in Gawduthar village, Maungdaw township, in the north of Rakhine state, Myanmar. REUTERS/FILE PHOTOIn the briefing she informed envoys from different countries that Bangladesh did not allow Myanmar Independent Commission to visit Cox’s Bazar, which is not correct, the official said.
In her defence Burgener said that she was unaware that Bangladesh had permitted the team to visit camps, he added.
Meanwhile, a Myanmar delegation led by its Foreign Secretary Myint Thu is expected to visit the camps in Cox’s Bazar next week.
The team will brief Rohingyas about the developments that have so far happened in Rakhine.