Myanmar, UNHCR to ensure safe return of refugees

Myanmar, UNHCR to ensure safe return of refugees

Myanmar refugees await the arrival of then Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Mae La camp near in Tak's Tha Song Yang district on June 2, 2012. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Myanmar refugees await the arrival of then Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Mae La camp near in Tak's Tha Song Yang district on June 2, 2012. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The Myanmar Border Affairs Ministry and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have agreed to formulate a strategic plan for the voluntary repatriation of Myanmar refugees living in Thailand.

Address a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday, Myanmar Border Affairs Minister Lt Gen Ye Aung said the government will make the necessary arrangements to ensure the return home of Myanmar refugees on the Myanmar-Thai border with safety and with dignity, Mizzima on Thursday quoted the Myanmar News Agency as saying.

The border ministry is planning to ink another memorandum of understanding with the UNHCR on ongoing projects to provide returning Myanmar citizens with education, health services, clean water, infrastructure and vocational training, it added.

About 105,000 Myanmar refugees stay in border camps in Mae Hong Son, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi. Thailand considers them displaced persons as the country is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, which would let the UNHCR get directly involved in the issue.

The Myanmar News Agency also quoted unnamed sources as saying that some of them were planning to return to their country.

The repatriation of the Myanmar refugees was raised in talks between Myanmar Foreign Minister and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok on June 24. Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon followed it up in a meeting with Ms Suu Kyi in the Myanmar capital on June 28.


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