If impunity and geo-political appeasement of Myanmar continue, there will be no sustainable solutions to the Rohingya crisis in sight, he says
Myanmar is enjoying impunity with respect to unprecedented atrocities it orchestrated against the Rohingya population, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen alleged on Tuesday.
Without naming any names, he also said that a culture of appeasement of Myanmar was ongoing through enhancing bilateral trade, investment and development assistance.
“Today ensuring international justice and accountability for the Rohingya people is the call and the cry of the hour under every possible global investigative and accountability mechanism, making the Rohingya crisis truly global,” the foreign minister said in his statement at the virtual high-level event at the Commonwealth on the theme, “Towards Sustainable Justice, Accountability and Returns; The Rohingya Crisis into its Fourth Year.”
“Unfortunately, be it the decisions of the UNGA, UNHRC, UNSG’s Special Envoy, the UN Security Council, the ICJ and ICC, the OIC or at the Commonwealth of nations, Myanmar manages to defy them all and gets away with it,” he said.
“A dangerous culture of impunity and defiance is thriving. Even the ICJ provisional measures of January 29, 2020 are not being able to guarantee Myanmar’s compliance of no more violence against Rohingyas or implementation of the critically important recommendations of the Kofi Annan or Rakhine Advisory Commission,” he added.
Dr Momen said: “Simultaneously a culture of appeasement of Myanmar geo-politically through enhanced bilateral trade, investment and development assistance continues to grow while the country has done nothing to redress the rapes, gender based violence, mass atrocities and genocide committed on its minorities that its neighbour Bangladesh diligently continues to host in temporary camps that threatens its very security and sovereignty.”
“We need to ask ourselves why because if this defiance, impunity and geo-political appeasement of Myanmar continue, there will be no sustainable solutions to the Rohingya crisis in near sight.
“In the fourth year of Bangladesh’s hosting of 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, I would say what my prime minister had said at the 75th UNGA on sustainable returns of the Rohingyas-- that the Rohingya problem was created by Myanmar and any sustainable solution for their return has to be found in Myanmar,” said the minister.
“Indeed, to make any return of the Rohingyas back to their country of origin, Myanmar, sustainable, safe, secure and dignified, the most important pre-requisite is the political will and conscience of the government of Myanmar,” he said.
At this critical juncture, when Bangladesh is overwhelmed and fatigued by the temporary hosting of 1.1 million Myanmar Rohingyas for the 4th year, and is finding it increasingly difficult to shoulder this colossal humanitarian burden for much longer, the world needs to stand next to Bangladesh and urgently find sustainable solutions in Myanmar, said Dr Momen.
“Bangladesh is grateful to the generous humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya camps and vulnerable populations in Myanmar by partners such as the UK, US, EU and their leaders who would be meeting the day after tomorrow [Thursday],” he said.
In this regard, he added: “I call upon them not to lose sight that prolonged humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas in temporary shelters in a foreign country cannot be part of a sustainable return and solution strategy or for securing the Rohingyas their right to return to their homeland in dignity and rights.”
The minister expressed the hope that as chair of the Commonwealth, the United Kingdom would explore how to utilise Commonwealths expertise in justice to provide advisory support to the ICJ’s “Provisional Measures” or at least create a “Friends of the Gambia group” at the Commonwealth for promoting international justice and accountability for the Rohingyas.
“We call upon the Commonwealth to work with Rwanda for the Kigali summit to do more on the Rohingya issue and fully endorse the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary’s call for the Kigali Summit to adopt a separate declaration on international justice and accountability for the Rohingya towards finding a lasting solution to this protracted crisis.