Alwaght- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called the UN Security Council on Monday to press Myanmarese regime to take back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled a military crackdown.
Security Council envoys visited Hasina in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, before traveling to Myanmar for meetings with its government leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing later on Monday, Reuters reported.
“They should put more pressure on the Myanmar government so that they take their citizens back to their country. That’s what we want,” Hasina told reporters.
Backed by regime, the Myanmarese military and Buddhist extremists launched a heavy-handed crackdown against the Muslim minority in Rakhine State in late 2016. That campaign intensified in August 2017.
Myanmarese troops have been committing killings, making arbitrary arrests, and carrying out arson attacks in Muslim villages in Rakhine.
About 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the western state to Bangladesh since last August.
The visit by the Security Council envoys, to see the aftermath of a military operation in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, puts a global spotlight on the crisis which the United Nations and others have denounced as ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.
Myanmar denies the accusation, saying the military was engaged in a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.
Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts in Rakhine State in August last year sparked the crackdown that, according to the U.N. and rights groups, sent nearly 700,000 Rohingya fleeing to camps in neighboring Bangladesh.
Hasina said the refugees should return “under U.N. supervision where security and safety should be ensured”.
“They want to go back to their own country. So the Security Council can play a very pivotal role,” she added.
When asked if UN supervision meant the deployment of peacekeepers, Hasina said: “Not exactly, well, that the U.N. will decide”.
Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, one of the envoys, told Hasina the Security Council wanted to “send a clear strong message ... that we’re determined to end this humanitarian crisis”.
The envoys visited camps on Sunday, where distraught refugees pleaded for help ahead of the coming monsoon season. Many live in bamboo-and-plastic structures perched on hills in the southeast Bangladesh district of Cox’s Bazar.