Revitalize Rohingya repatriation initiatives
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the United Nations (UN) to play a more decisive and robust role in resolving existing global challenges, especially the Rohingya crisis. On the occasion of 75th founding anniversary of the UN, the premier urged the world body to resolve the Rohingya issue which is one of the worst humanitarian crises of the contemporary world. It is also one of the prolonged humanitarian crises in the world provoked by Myanmar military. We welcome PM's initiative to resolve the problem.
However, more than one million of refugees, from Myanmar, have put enormous strains on our societies, economies, health systems, lives and livelihoods and local businesses. While Bangladesh is faced with a complicated conundrum, Myanmar isn't pressurized enough to repatriate its nationals. It has employed delaying tactics to evade its responsibility to take back the Rohingyas. The international community has provided funds and humanitarian aid to the refugees in Bangladesh. But providing humanitarian aid is only a temporary solution.
Unfortunately, Myanmar has not shown any sign of being sincere about a safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation of the Rohingya refugees nor has it been able to convince the international community that conditions in the Rakhine State are any different from the time of the Rohingya exodus. Myanmar, moreover, has denied the atrocities. The world's reluctance to take stringent measures against those responsible for the genocidal crackdown allows Myanmar's military to act with impunity. It is targeting other minority communities within Myanmar's national territory.
There is no doubt that expelling the whole Rohingya community from Myanmar is a national policy of the Myanmar authority. And that is why the military personnel involved in genocidal activities remain free from any kind of charge. It is evident that Myanmar authority is such an entity which cannot be persuaded to change its policy of ethnic cleansing. Only extreme level of pressure can compel the authority to repatriate its people with full citizenship and dignity.
Meanwhile, The Gambia has filed a case against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On Friday the country has submitted a more than 500-page Memorial. Gambia's latest initiative will help the Rohingya community to achieve its due rights in its own land. International communities, especially the big countries must come down heavily on Myanmar for its ethnic cleansing operations against the Rohingya and its refusal to take its nationals back with their full rights guaranteed. The UN must engage with Myanmar's closest allies to persuade it to shun violence and take back its citizens.