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UNHCR ready to be part of Working Group on Rohingya repatriation

The UN refugee agency says it is ready to help Bangladesh and Myanmar to work towards arrangements that would properly enable Rohingya refugees to return home freely, safely and with dignity

The United Nations refugee agency has said it is ready to be part of the Joint Working Group for administering the voluntary repatriation of displaced Rohingya to Myanmar.

The message was conveyed at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday.

According to a press release from UNHCR, the agreement signed by Bangladesh and Myanmar on November 23 on the voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya specified that a Joint Working Group to administer the repatriation be established by December 14.

Although the UNHCR was not a party to the agreement, the organization was referenced in the document text.

It now says it is ready to be part of that group and to help the two governments work towards arrangements that would properly enable refugees to exercise their right to return freely, safely and with dignity.

UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said the agency was encouraged that the two governments have agreed to work for a “comprehensive and durable solution” to the crisis,  and that Myanmar is confirming its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

“These include ensuring social-economic development, citizenship, freedom of movement, communal participation and representation, inter-communal cohesion and security for all communities,” he said.

“Their implementation will be critical not only to creating an environment conducive to returns in safety and with dignity, but also to ensuring sustainability.”

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