US Favors Regional Approach to Rohingya Issue

Thousands of Rohingya people are currently sheltering in makeshift camps in Arakan State. (Photo: Reuters)

The United States on Tuesday said it favored a “regional approach” to solving the Rohingya crisis that has rendered hundreds and thousands of Muslim people displaced and subjected to violence and human rights abuses over the past few decades.

“As the Burmese government works to address the underlying causes of ethnic conflict, we believe a regional approach is necessary to address mixed flows of refugees and migrants by land and sea, and ensure that those fleeing are treated humanely,” Kelly Clements, the Deputy-Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, said.

At a meeting of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and Refugees International, a Washington-based think-tank, Clements, who recently travelled to the region as part of a US delegation, observed that solutions to this protracted displacement appear increasingly elusive.

“I noticed a definite increase in tension and desperation since my last trip in 2011, and an escalation in humanitarian need. School enrollment is down as parents pull children from classes to become income earners, and malnutrition rates exceed emergency levels and continue to rise,” she said.

“Unfortunately, at the same time, organizations are facing greater obstacles to help ameliorate the situation. In our field visits to the official camps, refugees demonstrated for the right to nationality, highlighted human rights violations, and advocated for more services and education for their children. Outside the camps, the undocumented Rohingya population suffers even more without access to school, health care or decent shelter,” Clements said.

While rising international awareness is important to improving the lives of the Rohingya, the US will continue to work closely with Burma, Bangladesh and the international community to deepen the commitment to national and regional dialogues, she said. “Our commitment to resolving this intractable problem is clear,” she said, adding that she hoped this would not take another 20 years.

Clements said during her recent trip to the region—which included Burma and Bangladesh—that the US delegation focused specifically on the challenges resulting from the aftermath of the June violence. According to the US official, much needs to be done: to reduce tensions, to improve the humanitarian situation, and to work toward a sustainable and just solution for all those who have suffered from the conflict and longer-term deprivation of rights.

Some of the tough issues to be addressed, she said, include: lasting security and stability; freedom of movement for both Rakhines and Rohingyas; protection; and unimpeded humanitarian access and assistance to meet basic immediate needs.

“We explored how the international community can assist the Burmese government in long-term recovery efforts and the development of a path to citizenship for those Rohingya with claims. Peace is possible in Rakhine State only through economic development, poverty alleviation and ensuring basic rights for residents,” she said.

The United States, she said, has been a very strong advocate for national reconciliation as Burma undertakes democratic and political reform.

Clements said the US has urged Bangladesh to register some 200,000 undocumented Rohingyas and improve their living conditions, as well as those of the Bangladeshi community that hosts them. “The needs continue to be great in the Cox’s Bazar district, one of the poorest in the country,” she said.

4 Responses to US Favors Regional Approach to Rohingya Issue

  1. Say the Yanks as they build a massive wall between US-Mexico

  2. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    The facts finding of the United State sounds sensible to the hard reality of illegal Bengali migrants’ burden that Burma has to take as its part of international responsibility on humanitarian ground. This fact finding makes it very clear that Burma has nothing to do with those slanderous accusations of mass murder, genocides, and ethnic cleaning as claimed by Muslim brother hood countries without concrete evidence. 

    Condescending behavior of Muslim brotherhood countries towards Burma in human right has got to stop, to pay the way for tolerance of Burmese to grow in this hostile situation in Rakhine State of Burma. Be a part of solution through pragmatic approach by abstaining from religious bias. After all, Burma has been doing its best in finding a reasonable solution to the plight of stateless people, far far away better than all the combination of Muslim countries.
    Burma has sense of confidence and self-worth that will protects Burma from being vulnerable to an arrogant person or countries’ total inability to relate to stateless crisis of Bengali in western Burma. Give Burma a chance as it is trying to solve the crisis during this time of its newly born reform process to its democratization by not relating noxious or cruel things that come out of the mouths of Bengali sympathizers. 

    Now everyone is so clear that these Bengali are not the ethnic of Burma, but illegal immigrants that Burma should treat them according to its responsibility as part of international community. 

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  3. If the Rohingyas live and behave like human beings, the Rakhines will not treat them bad. If you come to my house and pee in my living room, I will never ever let you into my house again. US or anybody who is involved in the Rakhine-Rohingya issue must understand how the native Rakhines had experienced from the Rohingyas who had been cruel to others. Instead of opening OIC office in Sittwe, Saudi Arabia better take them to Mecca and Medina.

  4. Rakhine peoples in Rakhine state are worrying about losing
    their homeland to illegal migrant Bengali Muslim from Bangladesh.
    Now Buthidaung and Maungdaw are swamp by illegal migrant Bengali from Bangladesh.
    Both towns are now nearly 100% Bengali Muslim town due to Buddhist Rakhine
    peoples moving away from Muslim populated area for their safety.

    Bangladeshi Government is purposefully dumping it over
    populated peoples in neighboring countries for long time. Today, Indigenous
    tribe in Assam
    has problem with Bengali settlers and Jumma Tribal peoples have problem with
    illegal Bengali settlement in Chittagong Hill Tracts too.

    International must give pressure on Bangladeshi Government
    to take back it citizens from it neighbor.

    Now Rakhine peoples have said enough is enough and impossible
    to living side by side with that illegal migrant Bengali Muslim in future.
    Rakhine peoples are afraid of terrorizing by illegal migrant Bengali so called
    Rohingya in their homeland.

    Now Burma
    is almost losing two border towns Buthidaung and Maungdaw to illegal migrant
    Bengali. The Buddhist Rakhine peoples in both towns are selling their home and
    move away from two most Muslim populated towns. Now Buthidaungand Maungdaw is
    almost 100% Bengali Muslim town. The Muslim won’t be stopping at Buthidaung and
    Maungdaw and the Bengali will expand their Muslim population to another town if
    they were given Burmese Citizen. I don’t think Rakhine and Burmese peoples are willing
    to given up their land to Bengali Muslim. The best resolution for that illegal
    migrant Bengali from Burma
    is resettle in Muslim country. Muslim Governments need to show their love and
    kindness to their Muslim brothers.

    Rakhine and Burmese peoples have enough of these illegal
    migrant Bengali peoples’ crimes from Bangladesh.
    Please, resettle in OIC members’ country.


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