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A shared responsibility

  • Published at 05:07 pm September 28th, 2018
Over 700,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence which erupted in Myanmar on August 25, 2017 Syed Zakir Hossain/ Dhaka Tribune

Myanmar has done little to instill any confidence in us or the international community

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s words at the United Nations General Assembly could not be any clearer: “The Rohingya crisis has its origin in Myanmar, so its solution has to be found in Myanmar.”

Despite extensive efforts from the Bangladeshi government to provide shelter to the more than one million Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar, the Myanmar government has done little to ensure that there is any chance of repatriation for the Rohingya people. 

By all accounts, Myanmar’s actions during the August exodus were reprehensible, and they continue to be so, as they continue to deny allegations, dodge responsibility, and enforce a narrative which places the blame on the persecuted Rohingya. 

Thankfully, the international community has woken up to the atrocities carried out by the Myanmar army, with severe criticisms coming from Canada -- which has most recently stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of her honourary citizenship status -- and the US -- which has admitted that a “well-planned and coordinated” campaign of mass killings, gang rapes, and other atrocities have been carried out against the Rohingya. 

The UN’s most recent report too did not mince words, asking for prosecution of the military personnel responsible.

Last May, the UN and Myanmar signed an agreement to see the effective voluntary return of the Rohingya people to their homeland, but Myanmar has since then done little to instill any confidence in us or the international community to ensure that the Rohingya will not continue to be treated as second-class citizens once they return, if not, once again, with violence.

The atrocities against the Rohingya community have gone on for too long. It is time now for the international community, the UN, and the International Criminal Court to ensure that those responsible for the Rohingya crisis are brought to book -- they cannot be allowed to get away with this.