Resolve Rohingya crisis at its root, not in Bangladesh

Foreign minister asks global leaders

Staff Correspondent

11 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday urged the global leaders to come forward to resolve the Rohingya crisis at its root, not in Bangladesh.

He expressed fear that if the problem lingers, it may encourage creation of pockets of radicalism, spelling trouble not only for Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also for the entire region.

The minister made the call while speaking at the inaugural session of a seminar on ‘Bangladesh and Human Rights’ at a hotel in the city.

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, among others, was present at the event.

The foreign minister said nearly 12 lack (1.2 million) Rohingya or ‘displaced residents’ of Rakhine province have taken refuge in Bangladesh.

“They need to be repatriated with safety and security at the earliest. Their exodus was created by Myanmar and it is their responsibility to solve it,” he said.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has saved the face of the global leaders from ignominy and disgrace by sheltering the persecuted people of Rakhine province of Myanmar.

The prime minister through sheltering the persecuted people has become a ‘role model of humanity’, and a ‘leader of the world in protecting human rights and values’.

“If she hadn’t given them shelter, it would have ended with the gravest and worst genocide of the century since World War II,” he said, seeking global community’s proactive cooperation in resolving this matter of grave concern.

The foreign minister said unless Bangladesh takes a solid-rock stance to end atrocities and the worst form of human rights violation that UN High Commissioner of Human Rights described as a ‘classic example of ethnic cleansing’ and others as ‘genocide’, their efforts will never be of much value.  

Talking to reporters after the inaugural session, the Abdul Momen talked about the proposal of creating a safe zone for Rohingya.

He said they are placing a proposal of creating safe zone in Rakhine for Rohingyas. Though there is a trust deficit, Myanmar could agree on the proposal of creating safe zone if other countries ask them.

The foreign minister said the safe zone for Rohingyas in Rakhine can be created under the supervision of India, China and members ASEAN countries as Myanmar has much confidence on these countries.

Three other sessions were also held during the function to discuss various aspects of present human right situation in Bangladesh and around the world.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque, Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Offices in Geneva M Shameem Ahsan, former information minister Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, Director General (UN wing) of the Foreign Ministry Nahida Sobhan also took part in the discussion.