Monday, June 24, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

The world cannot let this pass

It was never on our country to look after the Rohingya, but Bangladesh rose to the occasion regardless

Update : 01 Jun 2023, 12:34 PM

It is now close to six years that the Rohingya crisis began, with the Myanmar government driving over a million of the ethnic minority away from their homeland through its relentless acts of genocide. Since then, Bangladesh is the only nation that has had the constitution to step up and do the right thing by hosting over a million of the Rohingya as refugees.

As we have editorialized time and again, this is a crisis that only has one viable solution: Repatriation.

To that end, the comments made by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights that the plight of the Rohingya refugees risks turning them into “the new Palestinians” should be a seen as a call to action for the international community to finally mobilize and hold the Myanmar government accountable for their ceaseless attempts at sabotaging the repatriation process.

As the nation hosting the highest number of Rohingya, Bangladesh itself is in a precarious position of being burdened with the responsibility for of looking after a million-plus refugees while it struggles to provide for its own people due to factors such as rising inflation and the various after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was never on our country to look after the Rohingya, but Bangladesh rose to the occasion regardless.

While we agree with the UN official that, given the extremely unfavourable situation that the refugees find themselves in, the Bangladeshi government should give them the right to work and education, it is not a viable solution for their well-being in the long run.

Organizations such as the UN are clearly aware that Myanmar has consistently failed to meet the conditions for repatriation as the onus is entirely on their government. Far from expecting more out of Bangladesh, the UN should be rallying the international community to pressure Myanmar into playing ball.

Repatriation is the only viable solution, and the international community knows it.

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