Myanmar must be ‘accommodative’ to Rohingyas: FM
Published : Friday, 23 August, 2019 at 5:01 PM Count : 212
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has called on Myanmar to be “accommodative” towards the demands of Rohingyas so that they get the confidence to return home.
“We are still hopeful,” he said on Friday, a day after a second failed attempt to start the repatriation of Rohingyas, two years after 700,000 Myanmar nationals fled ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the Rakhine State and took shelter in Cox’s Bazar.
The process is still on, said Momen, adding, “Myanmar could not create confidence among them (Rohingya refugees). It's their responsibility to do that. They (Rohingyas) don’t trust Myanmar. Myanmar has to address this trust-deficit”.
The foreign minister was talking to journalists after the Awami League’s international affairs sub-committee’s discussion on the Aug 15 National Mourning Day with diplomats from different countries at the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust, reports bdnews24.com
He said Bangladesh is always ready to facilitate the return. “We’ll tell Myanmar again that you agreed to take them back, so do whatever is necessary and make that arrangement. We’ll tell the world that we tried our best”.
He asked the international agencies to focus their attention on the Rakhine State instead of Cox’s Bazar. “We are taking care of them (Rohingyas) here”.
The Rohingya people have given some conditions for returning, including their citizenship and justice for the crimes such as murder, rape, arson committed against them.
“Myanmar must be accommodative,” the foreign minister said. “If they are not sensitive, then they (Rohingya) will not go back because of fear”.
“It’s the responsibility of Myanmar. They must convince their nationals.”
He said they are also thinking of an international commission that will work in the Rakhine.
“I told UNHCR and others… you don’t need to be here….go to Rakhine,” he said.
The UN agencies are still struggling with the access to the troubled villages in Rakhine. The UNHCR in a statement on Thursday sought “more predictable and effective access” from Myanmar so that they can work to build confidence.
“The UN cannot avoid the responsibility,” he said, when asked.
“The hatred has been there (Rakhine) for a long time. But they did not take that seriously. The UN could take a lead to lessen the hatred.”