Dhaka, Dec 12 (Just News): The European Union (EU) on Tuesday said the Rohingya repatriation agreement will have to be accompanied and monitored extremely carefully by the international community, mentioning that they know it very well that it is still an extremely difficult situation.
"But this is finally a first step in the right direction after months if not years, if not decades of inaction, or actually - even worse - sometimes of looking the other way," saidHigh Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the European Parliament plenary session on the situation of the Rohingya people.
It could be an entry point to address the crisis - from a bilateral point of view, between Bangladesh and Myanmar, and together with the agencies, starting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], she said.
The EU High Representative said theywill work to address the root causes of the crisis, and push for the full implementation of the Annan report.
In the light of disproportionate use of force by the army, the EU also decided to suspend invitations to the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar armed forces and other senior military officers, and to review ongoing practical defence cooperation.
Meanwhile, they have active at the UN Human Rights Council: first, they supported the extension of the Fact-Finding Mission's mandate; second, they supported a Special Session on Myanmar last week, and the resolution proposed by Bangladesh.
"We also supported a resolution at the UN General Assembly's Third Committee," she said.
The European Union has been the one pledging more money than anybody else.
"And if you look at the EU and Member States together, we pledged more than the rest of the world combined. And let me add that our pledges always turn into real money, into real projects that help real people, meaning that we always deliver on our pledges," she said.
The EU High Representative said it is now up to Myanmar to improve the situation in Rakhine State, so that everyone can go back to their homes in a safe and dignified way.
"Rule of law and full humanitarian access must be granted as a first step. The government has granted access so far to the Red Cross and the World Food Programme in Rakhine State, but we will continue to press for full access to the broader UN and NGO community."
At the same time, she said, the people of Rakhine must be guaranteed the right to education, basic social services and the difficult issue of citizenship must be addressed - all in line with the Annan Plan.
Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed her willingness and her commitment to do so, including in our private meetings but also in our common press activities and publicly several times.
"We know very well that she faces an extremely complex situation in the country," said the EU Vice President.
She said the democracy of Myanmar is a very young one and the country is still in a democratic transition, and the path towards an inclusive and pluralistic democracy is never easy, particularly after so many years of military rule.
"I believe that Aung San Suu Kyi needs and wants our support to implement fully the Annan plan, and to translate the political commitment into real action and to do it step-by-step, accompanied by the international community and other countries in the region," she said.
In the coming days and weeks,Mogherini said, theywill continue to work for dignified, voluntary returns, based on the bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
"We will push for humanitarian access in Rakhine State, based on the first openings made by the government. And we will work to address the root causes of the crisis, and push for the full implementation of the Annan report," she said.
The EU High Representative said the camp is in an area where when the rainy season starts the situation will become impossible to manage. "And it is a camp hosting 650,000 in just one place."