By Jim Della-Giacoma*
In signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bangladesh on the return of Rohingya refugees, Myanmar portrayed the agreement as “a win-win situation for both countries” and a victory for neighbours resolving their differences without the interference of outsiders. But the deal may also reveal that wider conflicts are brewing.
Myanmar is on the defensive. The deal came one day after the US Secretary of State belatedly agreed it was “clear that the situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya”. The agreement is a diplomatic feint rather than a serious step forward in resolving this crisis that has seen more 700,000 refugees flee to Bangladesh since October 2016.
“United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (3L) walks during a visit to a Rohingya refugee camp in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar on July 10, 2017”. Photo/ caption credit: AFP/…
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