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Rohingya’s return from Bangladesh should be voluntary, says UN

Last Modified Thursday, 18 January 2018 (11:41 IST)
United Nations: Secretary General has favoured that Rohingyas' return from to Myanmar should be "voluntary" and that way just moving them from camps in Bangladesh to similar ones in their own country is not desirable. "The worst would be to move these people from camps in Bangladesh to camps in Myanmar, keeping an artificial situation for a long time and not allowing for them to regain their normal lives," Mr Guterres told a press conference here on Tuesday.

Answering questions on the return of refugees from Bangladesh, he said, "What is it that is essential on this is to make sure that the return is voluntary; it is in safety and dignity and that people are allowed to come back to their places of origin".In this context, there is need for huge effort of investment, because there is a lot of "reconstruction to be done, and a huge effort of reconciliation" would be also needed to allow it to take place properly.

"We'll be, of course, ready to do everything possible, to support a movement taking place, as I said, based on voluntariness, safety, dignity, and in respect to international standards," Mr Guterres said.On the arrests of journalists in Myanmar, he said, "I did not speak personally to Aung San Suu Kyi on the arrests. We had a very clear position and very clear contacts in the sense that we wanted those journalists to be liberated".On agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar that return of refugees would be carried out in two years, he said, UNHCR was "not involved" directly in the management of the agreement.

"And we believe it would be very important to have UNHCR fully involved in the operation to guarantee that the operation abides by international standards," he said.To questions on conflict in Korean region, Mr Gueterres said, "I believe war is avoidable. What I am worried is that I am not yet sure that peace is guaranteed".

He said Under-Secretary General of Political Affairs was deputed to Pyongyang and it was a "happy" development that the Ambassador, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea, said that his visit has contributed to the restart of the dialogue between the two Koreas. "I think there are some signals of hope", he said. 
(UNI)
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