Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the Rohingya Muslims who crossed into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar must be allowed to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister made the urge in her speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday in New York laying a five-point demands to resolve the crisis immediately and forever.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 800,000 Rohingya Muslims who crossed the border facing persecution in neighbouring Myanmar in the past decades.
“Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever,” Hasina said calling upon the United Nations and the international community to take immediate and effective measures for a permanent solution to the crisis.
An estimated 429,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh to flee latest wave of sectarian violence that benign in Myanmar’s Rakhine State after the Burmese army launched crackdown against suspected Rohingya insurgents blamed for coordinated attacks on military and police on August 25.
Civilians who crossed the border said that army and their Buddhist cohorts carried out mass killing and arson attacks targeting the Muslim homes.
Hasina came to the UNGA after seeing the hungry, distressed and hopeless Rohingya taking shelter in south-eastern Bangladeshi district of C ox’s Bazar.
“This forcibly displaced people of Myanmar are fleeing an ‘ethnic cleansing’ in their own country where they have been living for centuries,” she said.
Hasina expressed her concern over the Myanmar’s acts of laying landmines along their stretch of border to prevent Rohingya to their homes. She also condemned all kinds of terrorism and violent extremism.
Hasina thanked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who has described Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya as “ethnic cleansing,” for his efforts to highlight the refugees’ plight.
More than half of the Rohingya, who entered Bangladesh after the latest waves of violence, are still living in makeshift camps with little access to shelter, food, clean water and sanitation.
Hasina called the UN Secretary General to immediately send a Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar to see the extent of violence, killing and torture.
“All civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity must be protected in Myanmar,” she said proposing a “safe zones” for the tortured ethnic groups inside Myanmar under UN supervision.
Hasina demanded a sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingya from Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar.
She demanded Myanmar must fully implement the recommendations by Kofi Annan Commission to resolve the crisis.