UNHCR calls on BD to keep border open for Myanmar nationals
The UN refugee agency has called on the Bangladesh authorities "to continue to allow" people fleeing violence in Myanmar to seek safety.
The UNHCR issued the statement on Friday amid its concern about the humanitarian impact of continuing violence in southern Chin State and Rakhine State in Myanmar.
UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic in Geneva said they are aware of reports of escalating violence and a deteriorating security situation in southern Chin State and Rakhine State.
"This has reportedly led to internal displacement and a number of new arrivals from Myanmar seeking safety in the Bandarban border region of Bangladesh.
"UNHCR is deeply concerned about the humanitarian impact of continuing violence in Myanmar and the potential for both further internal displacement and the outflow of refugees."
The spokesperson said as part of inter-agency efforts, UNHCR stands ready to support the humanitarian response in the affected areas in Myanmar.
"UNHCR has also offered its support to the government of Bangladesh to assess and respond to the needs of people who have arrived seeking safety from violence in Myanmar."
Bangladesh has given shelter to over 720,000 Rohingyas who have fled ethnic cleansing since Aug 2017. The figure has taken the number of Myanmar nationals living in Bangladesh to more than 1.1 million.
But the return plan has been postponed as they did not want to go fearing their safety and security. The UN agencies including the UNHCR have been advocating for safe, voluntary and dignified return to the Rakhine State.
The spokesperson said UNHCR is "grateful" to the government of Bangladesh for its "generosity" and the "leadership" it has shown in receiving those refugees.