Unicef has commended bilateral Rohingya repatriation deal but underscored that situation in Rakhine State is not conducive yet to start repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their homeland.
“That is the right things to do (repatriation deal) and Bangladesh should be commended for that. But violence is still continuing,” Unicef Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth told reporters in a city hotel on Thursday evening.
He laid emphasis on redoubling efforts before monsoon with solid and comprehensive work to save lives in camps here as well as addressing security concerns in the Rakhine State. “We need to redouble our efforts.”
Forsyth said it would be “premature” to send back these traumatized children at this moment seeking steps to improve situation in the Rakhine State.
“They miss their homes back in Myanmar but they don’t feel safe to go back. We couldn’t sleep at night at Rakhine State but we can sleep here,” he said quoting one of the Rohingya children.
Forsyth said improved security and unimpeded humanitarian access in Myanmar are essential before Rohingya children can be sent back from Bangladesh.
He mentioned that some 58 percent of the refugees are children, many of whom are still traumatized by their experiences of violence.
The Unicef Deputy Executive Director also talked about the challenges that more than 520,000 Rohingya children living in overcrowded camps and informal settlements might face during monsoon seasons.
The Unicef Deputy Executive Director ended his mission here through the press interaction.
He visited Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday and Thursday and saw the first-hand, the devastating humanitarian situation of the Rohingyas.
Since late August, more than 688,000 Rohingyas, among them 58 per cent children, have arrived in Cox’s Bazar alone, marking the largest mass refugee movement in the region in decades.
In Bangladesh, the total number of Rohingyas is now estimated to be well over 975,000 people.