POST TIME: 21 September, 2019 12:53:46 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 September, 2019 10:48:57 AM
Trust, int’l initiative needed to resolve Rohingya crisis
Myanmar should release the people in detention camps to show that they are creating a congenial atmosphere to build trust among the Rohingyas

Trust, int’l initiative needed to resolve Rohingya crisis

Trust-building and promotion of direct international involvement among Rohingya refugees are necessary to address the Rohingya crisis, according to experts.Bangladesh should clearly mentiontion to the international community at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) what it has done so far and request it to get directly involved in resolving the crisis for the sake of peace and stability in the region, they say. The experts also say it is important to build trust among the Rohingyas to persuade them to return to their place of origin as the repatriation has to be based on voluntary consent.

They express deep concern over a recent report by the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar. The report has revealed that around 600,000 Rohingyas remaining inside Myanmar have been facing systematic persecution and the threat of genocide.

They say that at the tri-nation meeting of Bangladesh, Myanmar and China during the UNGA, Bangladesh and China should ask the Myanmar government how it has planned to build trust among the Rohingyas in the light of the findings of the Fact-Finding Mission.

“Myanmar should be asked how it is going to resolve the crisis, especially in light of the Fact-Finding Mission report. If Myanmar rejects the report, it should be asked to allow the international community to visit the area,” former ambassador M. Humayun Kabir told The Independent on Thursday.

“Myanmar is claiming that it has created a congenial atmosphere, but the recent report of the fact-finding mission gives a contrary picture. Besides, there are also reports that over two lakh Rohingyas are in detention camps in Myanmar,” he said.

“Myanmar should release the people in detention camps to show that they are creating a congenial atmosphere to build trust among the Rohingyas,” he added.

Bangladesh should also ask China about the steps it is taking to address the crisis in concrete terms, the ambassador observed.

About Bangladesh’s role in the UNGA in New York, Humayun Kabir said: “Bangladesh should tell the international community that it has twice tried to initiate repatriation. We should tell them about the things spoken by the Rohingyas. Bangladesh should ask them what concrete steps they are going to take to resolve the cisis.”

“Bangladesh should seek direct international involvement.  The international involvement would act as a validation,” he observed.

He said a general speech would not help in resolving the crisis as Myanmar had been resorting to various ‘tricks’ to put off the repatriation.

Foreign ministry sources said they would repeat the same proposals placed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before the 72nd and 73rd UNGA in new frames. At the 72nd Assembly, she had placed a five-point proposal in 2017 and a three-point proposal at the 73rd UNGA in 2018, with a view to finding a durable and peaceful solution to the suffering of the forcibly displaced and hapless Rohingyas.   Her 72nd Assembly proposals suggested a safe zone for Rohigya people inside Myanmar, the sending of a fact-finding mission to Myanmar by the UN secretary- general, putting an unconditional halt to violence and ethnic cleansing, and ensuring a sustainable return and implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission report.

During the 73rd Assembly, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wished to see immediate and effective implementation of the agreement concluded between Myanmar and the UN for an early and peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis. “From the outset, we have been trying to find a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis through bilateral consultations. Despite their verbal commitment to take back the Rohingya, the Myanmar authorities are yet to accept them back,” she had said.

She had also called upon international organisations to join hands with Bangladesh in this initiative.

About the safe zone, former ambassador M. Humayun Kabir said: “The safe zone involves a lot of debates as many sides are involved here.”

So far, two attempts have been made for the repatriation of the Rohingyas since 2017, but they proved abortive. The second repatriation attempt on August 22 could not begin as Myanmar had failed to build trust among Rohingyas. As a result, not a single Rohingya agreed to return. Instead, they placed several demands before the Myanmar government including citizenship rights and the creation of a safe and sound environment before their repatriation.

The recent report of the Fact-Finding Mission has created another concern as its chief,  Marzuki Darusman, said: “Myanmar is failing in its obligation to prevent genocide, to investigate genocide and to enact effective legislation criminalizing and punishing genocide.” International relations expert and Dhaka University professor Dr Imtiaz Ahmed told The Independent: “The tri-nation meeting is very important for us. China was not involved in Rohingya crisis before. It’s very positive that we are getting China’s engagement.”