DHAKA (AA): Bangladesh called for the safe and quick repatriation of Rohingya refugees who have taken shelter in makeshift camps in southern Cox’s Bazar district, local media reported. “It will be good for all if the Rohingya can be repatriated to their own country as soon as possible, ensuring [their] safety and security,” Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Tuesday while receiving newly appointed British High Commissioner to Dhaka Robert Chatterton Dickson at her official residence.
Referring to the suffering of locals due to the huge number of Rohingya refugees, she said her government is doing its best to rehabilitate the persecuted people, Hasina’s press secretary quoted her as saying in a press briefing following Dickson’s visit. Dickson supported Bangladesh’s call for the immediate repatriation of Rohingya in safety and dignity, private news agency United News of Bangladesh reported.
Hasina also urged the Myanmar authorities to implement the recommendations put forward by the commission headed by the late UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to resolve the Rohingya crisis. Some 40,000 babies have already been born in the squalid refugee camps, she added. The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017. Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA). More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience”.
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added. The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.