Rohingya crisis was no longer Myanmar’s internal issue says Bangladesh

A Rohingya refugee woman carry a child while walking on the muddy road after travelling over the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain - RC1305D86090

Vastavam web: Bangladesh said today the Rohingya crisis was no longer Myanmar’s internal issue and had become a “regional catastrophe” as it appealed to the international community to take “crucial decisions” to press Naypyitaw to take back about 500,000 refugees living in the country.Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said about 500,000 Rohingyas had fled to Bangladesh out of the total 900,000 that have left Myanmar after an army crackdown on the minority community in the Rakhine State on August 25 following a terrorist attack on the country’s security outposts.

Ali said Rohingya crisis was no longer an internal issue of Myanmar’s and has become a “regional catastrophe”.”It’s (also) not a bilateral problem of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Bangladesh didn’t play any role in creating this crisis. The center of the crisis is in Myanmar and the solution lies with Myanmar as well,” he said.”Virtually only 400,000 to 500,000 of them out of some 1,800,000 Rohingyas now remain in Myanmar,” Ali said.

He said Myanmar had launched a large-scale military operation codenamed “Area Clearance” to confront “terrorists”, but under the cover of anti-terrorism campaign continued to carryout ruthless atrocities on Rohingyas by mobilising the troops one month ahead of the crackdown.Ali, however, said the Myanmar’s proposal was actually a tactic to defuse the mounting international pressure, which he said should be kept on to force the country to revise its approach towards Rohingyas.He said Bangladesh expected European Union foreign ministers meeting to take “some crucial decisions against the Myanmar Military” as they are scheduled to meet on October 16 in Brussels to discuss the Rohingya crisis.

Bangladesh disagreed with Maynmar’s proposal for Rohingya repatriation under a verification system set out in 1992 in view of changed scenario and reality and rather proposed a joint Bangladesh-Myanmar verification strategy, he said.On October 2, Bangladesh proposed a bilateral agreement to facilitate the repatriation process and handed over a draft of the proposed deal to Myanmar’s visiting minister in Dhaka.Ali also criticised Myanmar’s government-sponsored media for portraying the entire issue as “Islamist terrorism” or “radical Bangali terrorism”.