By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh urged UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to help resolve the Rohingya crisis, saying deteriorating political situation in Myanmar is hampering the peaceful repatriation of refugees.
Bangladesh is currently hosting about 1.2 million Rohingya refugees in camps in the southeast coast of Cox’s Bazar. Uncertainty looms over their repatriation to Rakhine state following a military coup in Myanmar on Feb. 1.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, who is on an official visit to the US, said: “It is frustrating that many influential countries have enhanced their economic and business relations with Myanmar while publicly decrying the human rights violations there.”
Momen made the call while holding a bilateral meeting with the secretary general at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, reported state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) on Friday.
The minister also urged the UN chief to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines become accessible to all.
The UN head appreciated Dhaka’s humanitarian gesture in providing shelter to the Rohingya people.
“The world will not forget Bangladesh’s generosity in hosting the largest refugee camps of the world,” he added.
The minister also briefed the UN chief about the facilities on the Bhashan Char island and stressed the importance of UN’s operations there.
Bangladesh recently relocated about 20,000 Rohingya refugees, and is set move 80,000 more to the island in the coming months.
Momen later held a meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, and discussed the current political situation in Myanmar and its impact on the repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.