Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday reiterated her call to the international community to do much more to ensure safe, sustainable and dignified return of over a million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh. The premier in her recorded speech at the 78th Session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said that Bangladesh expects enhanced focus and active support of the international community for safe, sustainable and dignified return of these displaced people.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas and most of them arrived on August 25, 2017 after a deadly crackdown by Myanmar's army which has been termed a ‘text book example of ethnic cleansing’. We have always been serious about a safe repatriation of the refugees. Our government launched its diplomatic efforts to send them back and signed deals with Myanmar. But five years on, even a single Rohingya have not returned to their motherland in fear of being persecuted upon their return. It seems we are paying the price for showing empathy to a persecuted minority population of a neighbouring country.
We expect a more vigorous role of the international
community on the diplomatic front to compel Myanmar to
take back the Rohingyas
Bangladesh wants to resolve the Rohingya crisis through peaceful negotiation and the country expects similar reciprocity from Myanmar and international community. Instead of taking back Rohingyas, Myanmar has been trying to misguide the international community to avoid its obligations for the repatriation and reintegration of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas.
We have done the best we can to ensure Rohingya repatriation through peaceful negotiation but nothing has gone in our favor so far. It needs no emphasising that voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas is the most viable and durable solution to the crisis. However, it is worth mentioning that repatriation attempt failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas' lack of trust in the Myanmar government. In order to make voluntary repatriations happen, Myanmar has to ensure that Rohingya refugees will not be persecuted upon their return. To this end, the international community and UN should exert their influence on Myanmar to create a conducive environment so that the Rohingya refugees can return to their homeland with safety, security and dignity. We expect a more vigorous role of the international community on the diplomatic front to compel Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas.