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Big question, Is whether Rohingya can go home: Filippo

28 September 2017, 9:32:00

Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, speaking on return from a visit to Bangladesh, said that he hoped to discuss the issue of statelessness of Rohingya with Myanmar authorities at a meeting in Geneva next week.

The United Nations refugee chief said on Wednesday the “big question” regarding the up to 800,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh was whether they would be allowed to return to their homeland.

“It is very clear that the cause of this crisis is in Myanmar, but that the solution of this crisis also lies in Myanmar,” Grandi told a news conference in Geneva on his return from Bangladesh, reports Reuters. 

He called on the Myanmar authorities to end the violence in northern Rakhine state so that solutions to the situation could then be discussed.

Some 480,000 Rohingya have fled northern Rakhine since Aug. 25 and accused the army of a campaign of violence that the U.N. has called “ethnic cleansing”, following attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts. About 300,000 Rohingya had previously crossed into neighboring Bangladesh.

“Since it is most likely that return will take time, if it happens, if violence stops, it will be important also to find in the medium term suitable solutions for the people that are in Bangladesh,” Grandi said.

He called for the Myanmar government to implement the recommendations of a commission led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “The lack of citizenship for the Rohingya, this needs to be addressed and resolved,” he said.

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