Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | ePaper

Our weak diplomacy and Myanmar`s audacious move

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DAYS after Myanmar Minister for Social Welfare and Resettlement's visit to a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Myanmar in a sudden move has taken back a family of five Rohingyas from no-man's land between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Since last August, some 700,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh and joined over 300,000 who had fled earlier waves of violence in Rakhine.  We think, the latest unilateral move by Myanmar in the name of repatriation is nothing but a hoax when Dhaka signs MoU with the UNHCR to expedite the repatriation process. Putting UNHCR and Bangladesh outside, the credibility and honesty of the repatriation process would be questioned. We must say the UN and also the Myanmar's friends -- Russia, China, and India--- must mount pressure on the country to speed up the repatriation process involving Bangladesh and UNHCR.
International news agencies quoting Myanmar government reported that five members of a Muslim family came to the Taungpyoletwea reception center in Rakhine State on Saturday. Terming it a farce, Dhaka said transfer of a family by Myanmar authorities was not a part of repatriation under the instruments signed with Myanmar and the UNHCR. The relief distributing organizations claimed that not a single Rohingya was sent to Myanmar under bilateral arrangements with the supervision of the UNHCR.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on Friday that the conditions in Myanmar were not yet conducive for safe, voluntary and sustainable returns of the Rohingyas. Myanmar's announcement of repatriation is "a public relations exercise in an attempt to deflect attention from the need for accountability for crimes committed in Rakhine State". The UN agencies or other international agencies that are providing humanitarian support to the Rohingyas in no man's land were not aware of it.
How can Myanmar claim it to be repatriation since the Rohingya family was not taken back from the camps within Bangladesh? The Myanmar government must comply with the accords signed among Bangladesh, Myanmar and the UNHCR and must take back all Rohingyas who fled the Buddhists and military-run genocide.
We think Myanmar has shown such an audacity due to our weak and nervous foreign policy. Besides, Bangladesh is also not getting necessary support from its neighbouring countries - even from India also -- which have appeared as prime reasons for creating uncertainty over the repatriation process.

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