The National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar has declared the voluntary and safe return of Rohingya people in a dignified manner as its utmost priority. The NUG released a statement on Tuesday on the eve of the 4th anniversary marking the exodus of the Rohingya people from Myanmar after the military crackdown in the Rakhine province in 2017.
The National Unity Government (NUG) is the Myanmar government in exile formed by the members of parliament elected in the November 2020 union elections. The winning candidates were not recognised by the military as it removed the civilian government headed by the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, a day before the parliament was set to meet.
The NUG said that it will seek justice and accountability for all crimes committed by the military against the Rohingya and all other people of Myanmar. Expressing its concern about the situation of Rohingya people living in refugee camps of neighbouring countries, the NUG said that it believes in repealing the 1982 citizenship law with a new one that bases citizenship on birth in Myanmar.
The 1982 citizenship law of Myanmar effectively denies citizenship to Rohingyas as it does not consider Rohingya people as part of ‘national races’ which settled in Myanmar prior to 1824.
The US department of State in a statement welcomed the ‘inclusive path forward envisioned by the NUG and other pro-democracy groups and their pledge to reform the 1982 citizenship law’ to protect the rights of Rohingya and members of other ethnic minority groups.