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    US team stresses for int’l aid agency access to Myanmar

    US deputy assistant secretary Kelly Clements addresses a press briefing along with Ambassador Dan Mozena at American Centre in Dhaka on Thursday. Photo courtesy by American Embassy

    The US State Department delegation, which visited Rakhaine state of Myanmar on Thursday, said a serious insecurity, tension, persecution and displacement of people continued there and stressed for access of international aid agencies in the country.
    The delegation strongly recommended for immediate humanitarian assistance and access to international aid organisation to supply emergency relief to the victims.
    “Tension is very much in evident and displacement continues. A large number of people continue to displace, so challenge is very much grave there,” said Kelly Clements, US deputy assistant secretary for Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
    Two members of the four-member delegation gave their impression at a press conference at American Centre in Dhaka after visiting the worst affected Sittew and Mongdu area following the ethnic violence in the Rakhine state in June.
    A four-member high-powered US delegation visited Myanmar on September 7-10 and Bangladesh on 11-13 to assess current conditions and to discuss with government officials how to reduce tensions and improve security, stability and humanitarian situation over long-term.
    Kelly and her colleague, who is also deputy assistant secretary for US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Daniel Baer told the press conference that they talked to local leaders and victims in Arakan state as well as Rohingya refugees in two official camps in Cox’s Bazar to get first hand impression of the situation.
    Asked whether they feel that the Myanmar government has failed to address the ethnic problem, Kelly said it needs high priority to bring the prevailing tension under control. She said the Myanmar government is aware of it and trying to solve it.
    On a question about a long-term solution of problems in the state, she said understanding between communities (Rohingya Muslims and Buddists), reconciliation and reintegration are needed so the communities can go back to their homesteads.
    About the Bangladesh government decision banning the operations of the three international NGOs in Cox’s Bazar, Kelly did not reply precisely but said it is very clear that the Rohingya refugees need enormous humanitarian assistance.
    She said the US continues its support through UNHCR to address the need of Rohingyas as well as the citizens of Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar until a long term solution is possible.
    When asked whether US wants Bangladesh to receive new Rohingya refugees, US Ambassador Dan Mozena, who also spoke at the press conference, said Bangladesh has long tradition of hospitality and hoped that the government will uphold the tradition in case Rohingyas arrive here fleeing to save their lives.
    Source here