U.N. Chief Urges Myanmar to Resolve Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Sun 03 November 2019:

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern Sunday over the plight of the 730,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, calling on Myanmar’s government to take responsibility by dealing with the “root causes” of their flight to Bangladesh and working toward their safe repatriation.

Guterres spoke as he held a meeting with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to which Myanmar belongs. ASEAN leaders meet annually to try to work out common positions on pressing issues, but also maintain a policy of noninterference in each other’s affairs.

The ASEAN ministers’ chairman statement, released by host Thailand summarizing the consensus positions of the group, accentuated the positive in suggesting how to deal with the Rakhine crisis, without directly acknowledging the major problems of Bangladesh hosting such a vast number of refugees and the hurdles in sending them home.

The statement pointed out the various agreements already agreed upon involving repatriation while reiterating “the need to find a comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities can rebuild their lives.”

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