UNSC urged to consider options for Rohingya repatriation


14 March, 2018 08:42 AM

UNSC urged to consider options for Rohingya repatriation

Photo: Reuters

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The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng yesterday urged the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to consider different accountability options to ensure safe and dignified return of Rohingya.

"The world needs to show that it is not ready to tolerate such barbaric acts on Rohingya as they have been killed, tortured, raped, burnt alive and humiliated," he said in a press statement here yesterday afternoon.

Dieng made the statement following a week-long visit to Bangladesh to assess the situation of Rohingya population who have crossed the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh since violence in northern Rakhine state in October 2016 and August last year.

During the visit, the UN adviser met Bangladeshi authorities, civil society actors and members of diplomatic community prior to his visit to different refugee camps in Cox's Bazaar, where survivors shared horrifying stories of what they have endured.

"What I have heard and witnessed in Cox's Bazaar is a human tragedy with the fingerprints of the Myanmar government and of the international community," he said.

He added that international crimes were committed in Myanmar as Rohingya Muslims have been killed, tortured, raped, burnt alive and humiliated, solely because of who they are.

Referring to the role of international community on the issue, he said they (international community) had buried its head in the sand which had cost the Rohingya population of Myanmar their lives, their dignity and their homes.

He, however, said whether or not the international community considers that the crimes committed amount to crimes against humanity or genocide, this should not delay their resolve to act and to act immediately.

The UN official said the solution to this problem lies first and foremost with the Myanmar authorities, by creating the conditions for the Rohingya population to return home in safety and be entitled to the same rights as any other citizen of Myanmar.

"The international community also has a responsibility to protect this population from the risk of further atrocity crimes," he added.

For resolving the crisis, Dieng opined that the root causes of the problem must be addressed, there must be accountability for the crimes, the stateless status of the Rohingya community must end and the issue of their citizenship be addressed properly and definitively.

He highly appreciated Bangladesh government for providing shelter to almost 700,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar in the space of six months and urged the international community to do more to support Bangladesh in shouldering this responsibility.

Referring to repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland, he opined that the refugees would not be repatriated against their will.

"What I have heard and seen makes it clear that the majority of the Rohingya want to return to Myanmar, but only when they are able to do so in safety, dignity and with access to the basic rights," he added.