German Development Minister Gerd Müller has said that his country has suspended cooperation with Myanmar until the country ensures of safe return of more than one million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh camps. “Myanmar has an obligation to guarantee that the one million refugees can return safely to their homelands, and that it will protect the Rohingya still living within its borders. Until Myanmar commits to do so, we will suspend our development cooperation with the country,” Müller said in a statement after his visit to Bangladesh.
On the second day of his visit to Bangladesh, Müller visited the largest Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong on Wednesday. One million people belonging to a Muslim minority have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, where they live in appalling conditions. Later in a statement said: “I have spoken to Rohingya women today, who have experienced immeasurable suffering. Here in Kutupalong, 800,000 Rohingya people are living in straw huts under the most basic conditions in one of the world's largest refugee camps.”
“I am deeply moved by their plight. Such ethnic cleansings and crimes against humanity are unacceptable,” he said, reminding Myanmar its responsibilities to protect Rohingyas. At the same time, he said, Germany will provide 15 million euros in additional funding for education and sanitation measures to help the Rohingya refugees living in the camps here in Bangladesh as well as the communities hosting them.
“It is time for all of us to put greater pressure on Myanmar and to back the proceedings of the International Criminal Court in order to induce Myanmar to take immediate measures to protect the Rohingya,” he said. “And, in Europe, we should now seriously consider imposing further sanctions, such visa restrictions or trade sanctions,” read the statement.