Rising violence in Rohingya camps may soon spread beyond borders, warns Bangladesh PM Hasina

The international community needs to give proper attention to the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina said, warning that the growing violence and crimes in the refugee camps can soon spread beyond borders

Nov 27, 2021
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina

The international community needs to give proper attention to the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina said, warning that the growing violence and crimes in the refugee camps can soon spread beyond borders. Bangladesh has been housing over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees displaced from persecution and targeted violence in Myanmar since 2017. 

"The security situation in the Cox's Bazar camps is getting complicated. The growing violence and crimes can soon spread beyond our borders," Hasina was quoted as saying by The Daily Star during the two-day 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit that concluded in Cambodia yesterday.

Significantly, this is the second time in almost two weeks that the Bangladeshi leader has warned about the crisis having repercussions beyond the country’s border if the world continues to ignore the permanent solution of the crisis. 

A provisional response by the international community, she said, would serve little purpose. "A critical test of our multilateral cooperation will be to find a lasting and peaceful solution for Myanmar's forcibly displaced people -- the Rohingyas," she added. 

Urging the international community to give proper attention to the concerns raised by Bangladesh, she said, "We continue to amplify the demand for their safe and dignified return to Myanmar.” 

Around two weeks ago, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had passed a resolution, focussing on the human rights situation of the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, and asked the latter to take measures for the safe and dignified return of the refugees. 

After the Myanmar military cracked down in 2017, over 700,000 Rohingyas, mostly Bengali-speaking Muslims living in Rakhine province, fled to neighboring Bangladesh, creating at the time what many called one of the biggest humanitarian crises.

However, Bangladesh, despite its consistent efforts, received nothing but just lip service from the international community when it comes to the question of returning these people back to their homeland.

Earlier his month, in her speech to Paris Peace Forum, Hasina urged the world leader to act seriously. The delay in finding the permanent solution, she said, would have “security implications” beyond the borders, she added. 

Prior to the military take over in Myanmar, Bangladesh had been engaging with the erstwhile Myanmar government, to find a working and mutually acceptable solution for the return of Rohingya refugees. However, in February this year, the Myanmar military, the main force behind the crisis in 2017, seized power, scuttling the progress in talks.

Dhaka since then has been lobbying with key western capitals, and international organizations to pressure the military regime in Myanmar for the repatriation of refugees. Over the past few months, authorities in Bangladesh are becoming increasingly concerned over the threat of growing radicalization, criminal networks, and drug trafficking.

(SAM)  

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