Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper

Russia and China must act fast to end Rohingya crisis

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 UN Security Council members except China and Russia have called for robust council actions for Myanmar to address the root cause of the Rohingya crisis. Especially, in terms of ensuring grants and citizenship for the refugees and for holding the perpetrators accountable who had carried out atrocities against the Muslim minority in Myanmar. The Council must find a suitable solution to the issue for improving the situation on the ground. Otherwise, the crisis may constitute a threat to international peace and security, they warned.
We completely agree with the point of view of the majority UNSC members. Myanmar's internal crisis has fast turned into a regional crisis. It's somewhat depressing that Russia and China's active role in this regard is still missing.  In the absence of an effective US global leadership both the countries are very important for solving the crisis. It's not only us but  the UN investigating team has also urged the two global powers to intervene. As the world has watched the unfolding of a campaign of murder, arson and rape by Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw, Beijing has blocked attempts by the UNSC to pass a resolution condemning the attacks, while offering the usual bromides about avoiding "interference" in domestic affairs of other countries.
However, it's not entirely true that China doesn't want a solution. On Nov. 19, while on a trip to Bangladesh and Myanmar, China's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, announced that Beijing was brokering a "three-phase plan" to bring about "a final and fundamental solution" to the crisis. The "plan," which was light on details, included a cease-fire, to be followed by the repatriation of refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar and, later, policies to spur long-term economic development in Rakhine State. But we are yet to see long term sincere and concrete efforts taken by Myanmar. As for Russia, the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov assured our Foreign Minister last month that it would provide assistance to the ongoing Rohingya crisis.
What is needed a clear understanding for prompt action. Time is running out and the monsoon season has started, and most importantly international donors are rapidly losing interest. Against this backdrop, we expect both Russia and China to act fast.

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