The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission has urged the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh to immediately start the repatriation of more than 700,000 Muslims from northern Rakhine State who fled to Bangladesh.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for repatriation of Rakhine Muslims in Bangladesh should be implemented as soon as possible rather than putting the blame on each other, commission Chair U Win Mra told the Myanmar Times.
“I urge that the best thing for both sides is to quickly implement the MoU,” U Win Mra said.
Myanmar and Bangladesh have recently exchanged accusations over the delay in the repatriation of the refugees.
“Rather than saying who is not implementing and who is delaying, if both sides implement the MoU effectively and quickly, initiatives can be started for their return,” he said.
The government has opened two temporary verification camps and one repatriation camp under the supervision of the Immigration Department and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rakhine.
U Win Mra, was a member of the commission on northern Rakhine led by the late UN secretary general Kofi Annan that was tasked with finding a sustainable solution to the Rakhine crisis. He was also a member of the advisory panel led by Thai deputy prime minister Surakiart Sathirathai.
He said the Myanmar government did not accept the UN Fact-Finding Mission’s report because it was one-sided, and the advisory panel suggested forming an investigation team organised by Myanmar.