UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi urged Myanmar to take action to enable the refugees in Bangladesh as well as the displaced inside the country to return home safely.
Grandi made the call during constructive meetings with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials on a five-day visit to Myanmar ended on Friday, said a UNHCR report.
The UN High Commissioner conveyed Myanmar the key concerns about Rakhine and Rohingya communities and the refugees in Bangladesh.
Grandi also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement regarding UNHCR’s broader activities throughout the country.
During his talks, Grandi also encouraged Myanmar to accelerate the verification of some 98,000 refugees staying in Thailand to allow expanded solutions for this group, through repatriation or legal access to the labour market in Thailand.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.”
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.