Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper

UN official to Int'l community

Continue to act for safe return of Rohingyas

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United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng has urged the international community and influential countries to continue to act for the safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
"So far, Myanmar has shown no genuine effort," he told a press conference at Liberation War Museum Auditorium here on Tuesday. He also urged China, India and other influential countries to play their role and show moral leadership to resolve the crisis. The UN Under-Secretary called on the international community to do more to support Bangladesh in shouldering this responsibility by providing support to the refugees and host communities.
The social and economic strains and the environmental impacts that the influx these refugees are placing on the area and the host community are clearly visible. "I encourage the Bangladesh government to facilitate more dialogue between the two communities to avoid misperceptions and the build-up of tension," said the UN Under Secretary.
Dieng said he was encouraged by the commitment made by the Bangladeshi authorities he met that refugees would not be repatriated against their will. "What I've heard and seen makes it clear that the majority of the Rohingyas want to return to Myanmar, but only when they're able to do so in safety, dignity and with access to the basic rights that are fundamental to us all," he said. So far, the Myanmar authorities have shown no genuine effort to allow this, he added. "In fact, refugees continue to cross the border. It's imperative also that the Rohingya, while in Bangladesh, are afforded more chances to uplift themselves educationally and through access to livelihoods." "Doing so will help them both in Bangladesh and when they are able to return to Myanmar.  We must not fail the Rohingya population again. They've endured what no human being should have to endure," said the UN Under Secretary. He 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 citizens of Myanmar. "The international community also has a responsibility to protect this population from the risk of further atrocity crimes. Under the present conditions, returning to Myanmar will put the Rohingya population at risk of further crimes," he observed. However, Dieng said, accepting the current status quo would be a victory for those who planned the attacks. "We must not accept either of these scenarios."
He highly appreciated Bangladesh's moral leadership and sought support for Bangladesh from the international community. Dieng has been on an official visit to Bangladesh since March 7 at the invitation of the government of Bangladesh.
The purpose of his visit has been to look into the situation of the Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar who have fled from Myanmar since themost recent incidents of violence in northern Rakhine state. The mandate of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide is to act as a catalyst to raise awareness on the causes and dynamics of genocide, to alert therelevant authorities where there is a risk of genocide, and to act as an advocate and mobilise for appropriate support.

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