Repatriation is the only solution to Rohingya crisis


Praising the role of Bangladesh, the visiting former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a political solution to the Rohingya crisis so that the persecuted minority people could return to their ancestral land safely and without fear. He also congratulated the authorities concerned for sheltering over 1.1 million Rohingya people in Cox's Bazar camps and sought constant support for them from the relevant UN agencies and humanitarian organisations. Despite limited resources and lack of facilities, Bangladesh has been bearing the burden for the last couple of years. Meanwhile, the refugees' housing arrangements and other activities have posed danger to livelihoods of locals and threats to environment. The international community should recognise the danger of sheltering such a large number of refugees what Bangladesh has been facing.
We do believe Mr Ban Ki-moon's visit to Bangladesh is very important and also significant. And his call came at a time when the veto-powered Russia and China have promised to assist Bangladesh to repatriate Rohingyas.  In recent weeks, a series of legal cases have been filed at different courts across the globe apparently to mount pressure on Myanmar. One day Myanmar will have to answer before the world community for its alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingyas were denied citizenship by Myanmar through a 1982 citizenship law. They have also been deprived of basic rights, including freedom of movement, health services and public jobs, since then. Over the last four decades, waves of violence in Rakhine led hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Despite two attempts of repatriation under a bilateral deal between Bangladesh and Myanmar, no Rohingya returned home, arguing that the conditions in Rakhine were not conducive to their safe return.
Bangladesh showed its generosity by welcoming the Rohingya people. But the commitments of global leaders to mount pressure on Myanmar government along with constant support for the Rohingya refugees have been phased out. In this context, we must say repatriation is the only way to get a permanent solution to the crisis.