Aug 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh has appealed to the international community to become "more aggressive and active" to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis that entered its third year with no repatriation in place.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen conveyed it to diplomats stationed in Dhaka and representatives of UN agencies during a briefing at state guesthouse Padma on Thursday.
He said global leadership and global organisations have to be more active to compel Myanmar to make arrangements so that Rohingyas can return to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
“They (global leadership) also have responsibilities. We've appealed to them to be more aggressive and take initiatives to address the crisis,” he told reporters after the meeting.
Dr Momen said it is not a problem for Bangladesh only, but the entire world.
He said they lauded Bangladesh for the way it is handling the crisis.
“The whole world is recognising what we've done,” Dr Momen said.
Asked about the international community’s reassurance, the Foreign Minister said, “Of course, we have reason to believe (them). The international community is helping us. Their contribution you can’t ignore and deny.”
UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo on Tuesday said it is now up to the world to make sure Bangladesh does not shoulder the burden alone as Bangladesh has “certainly done its part” when it comes to the Rohingya crisis.
She said Bangladesh responded with empathy to a group of people who fell victims to hatred, and now the global leadership needs to act.
UN Resident Coordinator said the UN is committed to doing what is right for both the Rohingyas and the people of Bangladesh.
“Any solution has to be sustainable. Sustainability is not something that can happen overnight. It takes time and thoughtful consideration for how everything we do today will set the stage for what’s possible tomorrow,” she said.
No Rohingya turned up on August 22 to accept the “voluntary” repatriation offer to go back to their place of origin in Rakhine State of Myanmar, citing lack of adequate assurances from Myanmar on their safety and security if they were to return. This forced the authorities to suspend the repatriation process.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas.
More than 730,000 fled here after the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority on August 25, 2017. A UN fact-finding mission said the crackdown had “genocidal intent”. Around 400,000 were already here following earlier movements.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal on November 23, 2017, but there has been little progress.
Following that, the first batch of Rohingyas was scheduled to return on November 15 last year but it too collapsed amid absence of any change in the situation on the ground in Rakhine state.
Besides, Myanmar continues to deny the Rohingya two of their foremost demands that would be significant in making them feel reassured to return home without fear of another crackdown: full citizenship, that they have been excluded from since a change in the country’s citizenship law in 1982, and recognition of their ethnicity as Rohingya, that Myanmarese authorities don’t even pronounce, calling them ‘Bengalis’ instead.
Prior to the latest repatriation effort, on July 29 Bangladesh handed a fresh list of 25,000 Rohingyas from around 6,000 families to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation.
With the latest list, Bangladesh has so far handed the names of around 55,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities and around 8,000 of them have been verified. Myanmar only cleared 3,450 Rohingyas for beginning the repatriation.