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Conditions for talks on return of Rohingya refugees not yet in place
In response to Thursday's agreement signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, Oxfam says people must be given the choice as to whether they return or not.
Lilian Mercado, Oxfam's Asia Regional Director, said: "We welcome that the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar are now exploring solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis, but the conditions for people to return safely and voluntarily are not yet in place.
“Refugees are still arriving, deeply traumatized by what they have experienced, and many of those who have fled to Bangladesh fear for their safety if they go back. The Rohingya people, many of whom have suffered the trauma of death, rape, and destruction, must have the right to choose for themselves whether they’d like to return to Myanmar.
"Ending the violence, meeting the needs and protecting the rights of those still in Rakhine must now be a priority. Independent investigations should be carried out on all human rights violations with those responsible brought to justice. International humanitarian organizations and observers, including media, must be allowed free access.
"Aid for almost one million Rohingya refugees now in Bangladesh remains woefully inadequate and the international community has a responsibility to do more to help until a long-term solution is found. Less than a third of $434 million needed for immediate water, food, shelter, safety, and basic needs over the next three months has so far been provided."
Christina Corbett | +44 (0) 7557 483758 | CCorbett@oxfam.org.uk
Nipuna Kumbalathara | + 94 (0) 71 487 3333 | email@example.com
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