• Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:02 am

ED: United for the Rohingya

  • Published at 07:05 pm October 18th, 2020

With this being one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history, the world must do better

It is encouraging to hear US Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun say that “we need every single one of Myanmar’s neighbours” to be quite clear about their expectations regarding Rohingya repatriation so that the Rohingya can safely return to their homeland of Rakhine. 

In fact, without a unified international voice, Myanmar will do what it has always done: Deny the truth and do everything in their power to indefinitely delay the repatriation process. 

And the truth is this: More than 700,000 Rohingya were forced to leave their homes and their homeland in Rakhine to escape ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Myanmar army, fleeing violence, death, arson, and rape. 

The Rohingya remain the most persecuted community in the world and their continued treatment as second-class citizens at the hands of the Myanmar government is an unacceptable state of affairs in this day and age that must come to an end.  

Despite this, it is unfortunate that certain regional powers have yet to take a clear stand regarding the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Myanmar -- their support would go a long way towards making the repatriation a success. 

Bangladesh has shown tremendous generosity in providing food, aid, and shelter to the Rohingya, but as a nation seeking to develop and improve itself, it is about time that the international community stood against Myanmar’s atrocities and demanded justice. They must also pro-actively contribute towards taking care of the Rohingya until Myanmar does the right thing -- this includes contributing to the 2020 Joint Response Plan which has so far found less than 50% of the funding required to ensure sustained protection for the Rohingya.  

With this being one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history, the world must do better. As UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab put it, we must “come together now to save lives.”

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