The United States on Saturday stressed that the Myanmar authorities should take speedy measures for ensuring return of the forced displaced Rohingya people to their respective places in the Rakhine state.
‘They must return to the place they fled’ from violence, Simon Henshaw, US acting assistant secretary of state who is leading a delegation to Burma and Bangladesh, said at a press conference in Dhaka.
He said that it was responsibility of the Myanmar authorities for ensuring return of the Rohingya people and establishing stability in the Rakhine state for political reconciliation.
Henshaw and US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert visited Rohingya on the ground in their camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Henshaw said that it was important to take ‘speedy measures’ to ensure safe, voluntary and dignified return of the persons displaced.
Indicating ongoing violence that forced the Rohingya people to flee to Bangladesh, Henshaw said that people ‘don’t move [leave home] only for that they want to move. Something serious took place in Rakhine state’.
The Myanmar authorities should take measures to take legal actions against the persons responsible for human rights violations in the Rakhine state, he said.
Replying to a question about the Myanmar government’s allegation that the Bangladesh government was unwilling to send the Rohingya people for getting foreign monetary aid, the US official said that the money ‘does not go’ to the government of Bangladesh and international organisations were using the funds for Rohingya.
Nauert said that what they saw and heard from Rohingya on the ground were shocking and horrific.
There were also disturbing reports on atrocities in the Rakhine state, she said.
Replying to a question on the possibility of imposing sanctions on Myanmar, she said that the US authorities, including the White House and the Department of State, were constantly evaluating the Myanmar situation.
Nauert informed that the delegation would report to the US secretary of state Rex Tillerson before his visit to Myanmar on November 15.
The matter is also expected to be discussed during the two-day visit of US under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Shannon starting from Saturday.
Shannon would co-lead the US-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue and discuss bilateral, regional and global issues, including Rohingya crisis, with government and non-government officials, the US Department of State said in a press release.
US ambassador in Dhaka Mercia Bernicat and US embassy official Nicholas Papp also spoke at the press conference.
Over 6,07,000 minority Rohingya, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing, between August 25 and October 29.
The ongoing influx took the total number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 10,24,000 till October 29, according to estimates of UN agencies.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from South Asia