Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | ePaper
UNSC`s urgent meet on Rohingya crisis today
Officials hope for a breakthrough
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called an urgent meeting to discuss the ongoing violence in Rakhine state amid growing international pressure on Myanmar.
Indeed, international pressure mounted on Myanmar's government on Monday, as United Nations Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the violence seemed to be a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" that has driven over 300,000 Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh from their country.
Hours after the warning, the UNSC announced it would meet on Wednesday to discuss the Rohingya crisis.
Britain and Sweden have also requested the UNSC to hold the meeting amid growing international concern over the ongoing violence in Myanmar.
The Council is composed with 15 members. Of them, five are permanent members (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and ten non-permanent members (Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay).
Bangladesh has long been suffering from Rohingya crisis that created by Myanmar. The fresh influx of Rohingya people into Bangladesh as a result of security crackdown on them further deepened the crisis, drawing the global attention.
"The international community continues to put pressure on Myanmar government to stop the violence forcing the UNSC to call an emergency meeting," a senior foreign ministry official told The New Nation yesterday.
He expressed the hope that the UNSC's meeting can produce a 'breakthrough' over the ongoing Rohingya crisis if it passes a resolution unanimously adopted by all 15 members that all Rohingya refugees have to return to Myanmar from Bangladesh and regain their citizenship within a fixed time frame.
Besides, it can deploy UN peacekeeping forces in Rakhine until all Rohingya refugees return to Rakhine and impose sanctions on Myanmar to be lifted after the crisis is resolved.
"Bangladesh always wants a peaceful solution over the crisis through a mutual understanding. But its effort is yet to bear fruit due to non-cooperation from Myanmar. Now Bangladesh has no other alternative but to place the issue on global forum to mobilize international support to resolve the problem permanently," he added.
Around 370,000 of Myanmar's minority Rohingya population have fled the country's western state of Rakhine into neighbouring Bangladesh in recent weeks since the violence began on August 25, according to the UN.
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN's high commissioner for human rights, on Monday accused Myanmar authorities of acting in a "clearly disproportionate" manner and "without regards for basic principles of international law."
"I call on the government to end its current cruel military operation, with accountability for all violations that have occurred, and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population," he said.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday called on Myanmar to take steps to take their nationals back.
"Myanmar has created the problem, and they will have to solve it. We want peaceful relations with our neighbours," she said during a visit to a refugee camp in Ukhiya upazilas of Cox's Bazar district, near the border with Myanmar.
The Bangladeshi parliament approved a motion on Monday urging the international community to increase pressure on Myanmar to resolve the crisis.
A number of nongovernmental organisations have expressed concern at the escalating humanitarian cost of the crisis, with Save the Children claiming the situation is becoming increasingly desperate.
"The humanitarian situation is distressing, and the needs are enormous. The international community needs to recognise this, step up and urgently meet the needs of incredibly vulnerable people, especially children," said George Graham, the charity's director of humanitarian policy, on Tuesday.
"Thousands of Rohingya families, including children, are sleeping out in the open or by a roadside because they don't have anywhere else to go. Some don't have enough food or clean drinking water, and this state of uncertainty increases the risk of children being exploited, abused or even trafficked."