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UNSC must visit Myanmar, too

Earlier this month Myanmar had asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to not visit the Rakhine State. On the other hand, Bangladesh on Tuesday called on UNSC to undertake visits to Bangladesh and Myanmar to witness the humanitarian situation that erupted from the latest crisis. We fully endorse it.

United Nations is not unaware of what has been happening in Rakhine. In fact, UNHCR termed the ongoing violence in the state as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” However, UN's statements alone would not deliver a successful Rohingya repatriation, under which the refugees will be guaranteed complete safety and have all their basic rights after return.

Recently, the British foreign minister visited both the countries and reiterated Britain's position that Rohingyas must be allowed to return to their homes. As preparations for the repatriation process is going on, a visit by UNSC member states to both countries would certainly add momentum to the repatriation process. In fact, such a visit sooner could have prevented worsening of the situation. Therefore, the UNSC must prevail upon Myanmar and hold it responsible for the crimes of its forces.

For Bangladesh, the situation in Cox's Bazar is increasingly unbearable. Rohingyas constitute many times the number of local people, risking the creation of a complex socio-economic problem. In this context, the reports that donor agencies are losing interest in providing food assistance to Rohingya refugees are highly disturbing and unacceptable.

We urge the UNSC, as we did earlier this month, to visit both countries immediately. Such a visit would certainly exert pressure on Myanmar to create conducive conditions for the repatriation.

(c) 2018 The Daily Star

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