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Experts seek stronger global pressure to ensure justice for Rohingyas

  • Published at 09:29 pm December 29th, 2019
File photo: An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touches the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, September 11, 2017 Reuters

Repatriation process will not be affected due to legal process, they say

Speakers at a discussion have laid emphasis on strengthening joint global efforts on accountability front mentioning that the recent hearing at the top UN court in The Hague offers both challenges and opportunity for the international community to get involved deeply and ensure justice for Rohingyas.

The Centre for Genocide Studies (CGS), Dhaka University (DU) hosted the panel discussion on "The Rohingya Crisis: Why Accountability?" at a hotel in Gulshan, Dhaka on sundsay, reports UNB.

Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Md Shahidul Haque attended the discussion as the chief guest moderated by Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, Prof of International Relations and Director, Centre for Genocide Studies, DU.

The speakers expressed their optimism over a positive outcome from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as The Gambia sought six provisional measures from the genocide case filed against Myanmar.

Speakers at a panel discussion on "The Rohingya Crisis: Why Accountability?" at a hotel in Gulshan, Dhaka on Sunday, December 29, 2019| UNB

They observed that the repatriation process and the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Myanmar will not be affected due to the proceedings at the top UN court as they believe crimes committed against Rohingyas cannot go unpunished.                                          

The speakers highlighted the risk of radicalisation as it does not get seen but is something to smell and the government needs to remain careful about the issue.

They observed that there has been focus on bilateral, multilateral and accountability fronts equally.

They said accountability is essential for building confidence among Rohingyas and mentioned that repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland is the most important thing for Bangladesh.

File Photo: Rohingya men and women migrating to different camps in Cox Bazar | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine, Secretary (Asia and Pacific) Masud Bin Momen, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Netherlands Jeroen Steeghs, member of the joint working group for repatriation of Rohingyas Brig Gen SarwarHossain, researcher and member of Board of Trustee, Liberation War Museum Mofidul Hoque and DG (UN wing) at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nahida Sobhan, spoke at the event, among others.

The foreign secretary said Bangladesh helped stabilize the entire region by giving shelter to Rohingyas and the region could have been destabilized had Bangladesh refused to give shelter to these displaced people.

He said Bangladesh will continue to follow both bilateral and multilateral approaches to find a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.

Talking about the ICJ issue, the Canadian High Commissioner said they are thrilled with what happened at the ICJ but it will take time.

He said it is a long game of five to 10 years and they have to wait for the real results.

Masud said they are seriously engaged on all fronts – bilateral, multilateral and accountability fronts – which are interrelated and complementary to each other.

“Repatriation of Rohingyas is the most important thing and building confidence among Rohingyas is a must for their repatriation,” he said adding that Rohingyas must return to their homeland.

Steeghs said accountability is a must for breaking the cycle of impunity in Myanmar and laid emphasis on safe, dignified and voluntary return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State to ensure sustainable solution to the crisis.

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