Myanmar has failed to lay the groundwork for the safe return of 688،000 Rohingya refugees who fled the country’s army crackdown six months ago، the UN refugee chief says.
"Let me be clear: conditions are not yet conducive to the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees،" UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi، who was speaking by videoconference from Geneva، told a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
"The causes of their flight have not been addressed، and we have yet to see substantive progress on addressing the exclusion and denial of rights that has deepened over the last decades، rooted in their lack of citizenship،" he added.
Despite an agreement reached between Myanmar and Bangladesh allowing for return of Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine state، the refugees are still sheltering in makeshift camps in Bangladesh.
The meeting came three months after the Security Council called on Myanmar to rein in its security forces and allow the voluntary return of Rohingyas.
Grandi noted that although the exodus of refugees has decreased، the flow "still continues،" with some 1،500 refugees arriving in Bangladesh in February.
He expressed concern over the looming monsoon rainy season، which starts in March، and warned that 100،000 refugees who are living in flood-prone areas must be relocated immediately.