Rohingya crisis and the UN action

Published : 10 Apr 2021 07:45 PM | Updated : 11 Apr 2021 10:57 PM

What has been happening in Myanmar is a threat to peace and security of that country. The United Nations is not silent but sanction of that kind that is practiced today is not enough to compensate the inhuman brutal acts that the Myanmar army has been committing against its people. Decades after decades there has been martial law in that country. 

Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader whose party was in power for several years with understanding with army was ousted by the military junta. Although her National League for Democracy (NLD) won with absolute majority and formed government the military junta ruled the country. The army used Suu Kyi as shield to give a democratic character of the government. She could not take any decision on any national issue. 

Suu Kyi had to support the army in driving out nearly a million of Rohingyas from their own country Myanmar. The brutality, rape, arson by the army compelled Rohingyas to cross border to save their lives and took shelter in Bangladesh. They crossed the borders in thousands in 21 days and number reached to over 1.1 million. 

The United Nations (UN) and almost all the important leaders of the globe supported return of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh that gave shelter to them on humanitarian ground. Nearly two and half years have passed. The Rohingyas have been sheltered in the makeshift built in three upazilas of Cox’s Bazar and few thousands were shifted to Bhasanchar. 

The foreign policy of Bangladesh, `Friendship to all, 

malice towards none’ has been strictly followed by 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Sheikh Hasina pursues 

the policy of peaceful cooperation with its neighbor 

and wants to resolve the Rohingya crisis through bilateral discussion

The local people were really sympathized to them. They gave shelter to these hapless people even at the cost of their own suffering. The government of Bangladesh did everything for them. Relief materials reached there from every corner to feed the Rohingyas. The government and the people are doing as much as possible for them. Their children have been taken special care. Even there is arrangement for their education and health service. 

It is Myanmar which created problems by driving out Rohingyas from their homeland. Bangladesh has given them shelter on humanitarian ground. But   hosting of 1.1 million Rohingyas for the country is a big challenge. It has emerged as environmental and security challenges and trafficking problem in particular. The peace and stability in the South Asia may be disturbed if the Rohingyas are not repatriated immediately. 

Any further deterioration in the Rakhine zone might be the cause of destabilization in the region. The UN and other countries should put pressure on Myanmar to implement the agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingyas. It’s very unfortunate that Myanmar has not taken any measure that might ensure safety and security of the Rohingyas. 

The UN has come up with all possible help. Many world leaders, the noble laureate, dignitaries and civil society leaders from different countries visited the Rohingyas and called upon the international community to convince and put pressure on Myanmar government to take back Rohingyas. The UN adopted resolutions relating to their return. The Security Council also sat to resolve the issue but nothing tangible came out till today due to the obstinacy of the Myanmar government who strongly consider the Rohingyas as outsiders. 

Repeated attempts were made to start repatriation of Rohingyas, but failed as no refugees want to go back fearing that if their demands including ensuring citizenship and security of Rohingyas, giving back their land and properties, protecting all fundamental rights of Rohingyas Rakhaine state are not met. Some United Nations officials tried to convince the Rohingyas to go back to their country. 

But the Rohingyas are not willing to go back reiterating their demand of guaranteeing safety and security by the Myanmar government. It is through the intervention of the United Nations and international community that could ensure their safety and security and getting back their land and properties. 

The United Nations representatives should be there to see how they are being treated after their return. The attention of the globe should be there. They should convince Myanmar government to take some steps in line with the demands of the Rohingyas. Bangladesh cannot give such security. Only the United Nations can ensure that. The Rohingyas should not forget how they were evicted and kind of repression committed by the Myanmar government. 

Our Prime Minister has been doing everything possible for them. She has also been trying to solve the issues diplomatically. Earlier, in July 2019 Sheikh Hasina visited China to discuss the Rohingya issue along with many others issues of mutual interest. The Bangladesh Prime Minister held series of meetings with Chinese high ups. The talks between PM and Chinese dignitaries were held in a very cordial atmosphere and Bangladesh PM called upon the Chinese authorities into Bangladesh to discuss the more areas of cooperation and the response from Chinese side is positive. 

In such a situation Sheikh Hasina has to continue its diplomatic efforts and seek China’s help to find out a solution and ensure quick return of the Rohingyas to their homeland. China should find a meaningful solution to the problem and convince Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas to their homeland. 

The foreign policy of Bangladesh, `Friendship to all, malice towards none’ has been strictly followed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pursues the policy of peaceful cooperation with its neighbor and wants to resolve the crisis through bilateral discussion. 

Bangladesh has been badly affected by the Rohingya crisis created by Myanmar. It is the soil of Bangladesh that has to bear the burden. Bangladesh has been persistently trying to resolve the crisis with the help of the UN and many other leaders of different countries and the opinion is certainly in favour of Bangladesh.   

Dr S A Malek is the former political adviser to the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, general secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad and columnist.