Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday urged world leaders to play a role in the long-term solution to the Rohingya crisis.
“The international community must constructively work for a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis through the safe, sustainable and dignified return of them to their home in the Rakhine State of Myanmar,” Hasina said while addressing the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.
Bangladesh is home to more than 1.1 million persecuted Rohingya Muslims, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown that began Aug. 25, 2017, that was perpetrated on the guise of combatting militants after alleged terrorist attacks at police and military check posts.
Emphasizing the role of the international community, Hasina said: “While we expect the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders to step up their ongoing efforts, the international community needs to support all the accountability processes.”
She also expressed frustration at the delay in the peaceful repatriation of Rohingya. “The Rohingya crisis is in its fifth year now. Yet not a single forcibly displaced Myanmar national could be repatriated to Myanmar,” she said.
Urging the world community to put pressure on Myanmar to take back its nationals, Hasina added that the crisis originated in Myanmar and so the solution also lies in Myanmar.
Reiterating her commitment to cooperate with the international community in solving the crisis, Hasina opined: “Myanmar must create the conditions conducive for their [Rohingya] return.”
She also claimed that Bangladesh has done its part properly in dealing with Rohingya. “Even we have relocated some of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, Rohingyas, to Bhasan Char for their better living condition,” she said.
To stem the spread of the global pandemic in the congested refugee camps in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar, all eligible Rohingya have been included in the country’s vaccination drive, said Hasina.
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.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed while more than 34,000 have been thrown into fires, with over 114,000 beaten, as many as 18,000 Rohingya women and girls raped, an excess of 115,000 Rohingya homes burned and 113,000 vandalized by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
Meanwhile, terming the COVID-19 vaccine, “global public goods,” Hasina said that Bangladesh is ready to locally manufacture vaccines if technology is transferred.