The international community should re-impose sanctions on Myanmar for its “mass killing, genocide and ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims, the Bangladeshi prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser, Gowher Rizvy, said on Wednesday.
Speaking at an international conference on “The Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Toward Sustainable Solutions” at Dhaka University, he said: “We have to re-impose sanctions because they were removed as a goodwill gesture and in reaction to responsible behavior coming from Myanmar.”
Foreign policy experts and diplomats from 11 countries — including India, Thailand, the U.S., the UK, Sweden, Singapore, Malaysia and Bangladesh — participated in the conference, organized by the university’s Center for Genocide Studies (CGS), BRAC University and Action Aid Bangladesh.
“While Dhaka engages with Myanmar in bilateral dialogue… it’s also critical for the international community to be deeply engaged with the issue,” said Professor Imtiaj Ahmed, director of the CGS.
Munshi Faej Ahmed, chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, told Arab News: “The EU and U.S. have already imposed sanctions on Myanmar. Canada is considering the same.”
He added: “It’s the international community’s responsibility to bring to justice those who’ve committed grave human rights violations.”
The international community should find a sustainable solution to the crisis, he said, adding that Bangladesh’s priority “is the repatriation of the Rohingya with dignity.”
But the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the situation in Rakhine state is not yet favorable for Rohingya to be repatriated.
“The solution to this crisis lies in Myanmar,” said Caroline Gluck, the UNHCR’s senior public information officer in the Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar.
“Several hundred refugees from Myanmar continue to enter Bangladesh every week, seeking protection and safety. This indicates that the situation is still not safe for people to return,” she added.
“Any repatriation must be voluntary, safe and dignified. Systems must be set up to protect returnees, ensure rehabilitation, reconstruction and development assistance, (and) build legal and judicial capacity to create conditions for reconciliation,” Gluck said.
“We have yet to see specific steps taken in Myanmar to solve the issue of citizenship, or address the causes of conflict and communal tensions, although these were among the key recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, set up by the former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and endorsed by the Myanmar government.”
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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