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Tuesday, July 3, 2018 11:41:01 PM
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UN must ensure justice and safe return of the refugees

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HAVING visited the Rohigya camps at Cox's Bazaar, UN Secretary-General António Guterres admitted the extent of suffering of the refugees he experienced was unimaginable. António Guterres is a very important name in the long list of foreign dignitaries to have visited the refugee camps. We are thankful to his visit and believe he would be able to garner global support.
He has once more reiterated what many of our foreign friends had said in the past---he is shocked, bereaved and dazed. Myanmar has systematically and deliberately violated human rights of Rohingyas. Very much in tuned with the UN boss, the World Bank president has also added that the international community cannot turn its head away from the Rohingya crisis.
Reportedly, a group of refugees during his visit staged demonstrations against the 'secret agreement between Myanmar and the UN', saying their rights and demands were denied in the deal. We believe, the secretary general would do everything to wipe-out misperceptions about the refugees' rights.
The first batch of heavy rains of the year swept through Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox's Bazar last month, marking the start of monsoon season - causing 37 landslides and leaving one child dead and several people injured. Nearly 2,500 refugee families, with some 11,000 people in all, have been affected.
And now based on an aerial map of the refugee settlements it is estimated that up to 200,000 refugees could be at risk of landslides and floods and are yet to be moved to safer areas. Of this population, more than 41,000 are at high risk of landslides.
We request the UN and its member states to speed up all initiatives related to safe and voluntary repatriation of the refugees. Given the scope of the refugee population, the sheer size of the settlements and the challenging terrain, we fear that the extreme weather will cause further damage, destruction and potential loss of life.
The visiting UN secretary general has urged for global support to address the Rohingya crisis.  But until justice is delivered to the refugees Myanmar must be forced to shoulder costs for accommodating the refugees in Bangladesh.

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