Ensure Rohingya isn’t a forgotten crisis

Voluntary repatriation is the most viable and durable solution to the Rohingya crisis

Published : 21 Sep 2021 09:42 PM | Updated : 22 Sep 2021 05:24 PM

While replying to a question at an event titled “DCAB Talk" UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo on Sunday rightly said it is the “shared responsibility” of the international community to make sure that the Rohingya crisis is not forgotten as the world faces more crises. Reportedly, she lauded Bangladesh's role in handling the Rohingya crisis and recognised the government's massive investment in Bhasan Char where some of the Rohingya refugees are being relocated from Cox's Bazar crowded camp.

It needs no emphasising that voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas is the most viable and durable solution to the crisis. However, it is worth mentioning that repatriation attempt failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas' lack of trust in the Myanmar government.

Four years on, even a single Rohingya have 

not returned to their motherland in fear of being persecuted upon their return

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Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas and most of them arrived on August 25, 2017 after a deadly crackdown by Myanmar's army. Four years on, even a single Rohingya have not returned to their motherland in fear of being persecuted upon their return.

Bangladesh has always been serious about safe repatriation of the Rohingya refugees working with Myanmar for the voluntary, safe and sustained repatriation of the persecuted minorities. But the military rulers in Myanmar have made every possible effort to thwart repatriation. On top of that, the latest arbitrary move in Myanmar has created uncertainty over the Rohingya refugee repatriation process. It is envisaged that Rohingya repartition will never be an important agenda for the military government of Myanmar. Suu Kyi was no good for us but there was still hope that through negotiation the two neighboring countries would end up on a happy note. 

The only way to get proper action from Myanmar’s military is to compel it through sanctions, travel bans or a freeze on assets.  We expect a more vigorous role of the international community on the diplomatic front to compel Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas. It is crucial that the international community continues to maintain pressure on Myanmar to create a conducive environment so that the Rohingya refugees can return to their homeland with safety, security and dignity.

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