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UN-Myanmar deal could make a significant development in Rohingya repatriation process

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08th-Jun-2018       
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MANY global news agencies reported that the United Nations on Wednesday inked a deal with Myanmar, which would give it access to the epicenter of the Rohingya crisis, but provided few details on how the agreement would jumpstart stalled repatriation plans. Some 700,000 people fled over the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh after the military launched a crackdown on Rohingya insurgents last August that the UN has called ethnic cleansing. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal in November but fears over safety and rights in Myanmar mean only a couple dozen of the long-persecuted minority have chosen to return. In the stalled situation, the UN success to reach a deal with Myanmar to get access in Rakhine state, where genocide was committed, is a good step to repatriate the most persecuted population with rights and citizenship to their ancestral land.
The UN said that its agencies will initially carry out assessments in Rakhine State, which has been largely closed to outsiders since the crisis began. The UN refugee agency said they hoped to start assessment as soon as possible, though any large-scale refugee repatriation is still a long way off. It is anticipated that the UN would investigate whether conducive environment for the repartition of Rohingya is either possible or not. However, the UN Secretary-General reiterates his call for an end to violence, accountability for perpetrators, redress for victims, and humanitarian access to all areas in Rakhine State. But human rights groups say the new deal will be worth little unless Myanmar opens Rakhine State up to independent monitors and takes significant steps towards treating Rohingya as full citizens. If this agreement can help the UN access areas the government has blocked, that's good, but this doesn't represent any fundamental change on the ground.
Myanmar so far has allowed only chaperoned visits to Rakhine State. Even, the country has refused access to a UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission and barred UN rights experts. We think reaching a deal with Myanmar is a significant development in the repatriation process of Rohingya people. Bangladesh should mountain pressure on regional powers and the UN to compel Myanmar to take back their nationals.

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