• Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

No accountability, no return

  • Published at 12:33 pm November 4th, 2018
Rohingya Refugees
Rohingyas crossing over to Bangladesh after Rohingya insurgent attacks on Myanmar security forces in August 2017 triggered a sweeping military crackdown Mahmud Hossain Opu /Dhaka Tribune

For the voluntary return of the Rohingya, they must feel safe

With it having been more than a year since the atrocities carried out by the Myanmar army forced a significant portion of their country’s Rohingya population to flee their native Rakhine state, it has become imperative that a solution to this crisis be formulated post haste.

The violence carried out by the Myanmar army has been nothing short of a concerted effort to ethnically cleanse the region of the Rohingya people and, as such, more than 700,000 of the ethnic minority saw no other option but to flee their homes and seek shelter in Bangladesh.

Now, with more than a million Rohingya living in decrepit conditions within our borders, it is high time that efforts be made towards their voluntary return to the homeland.

But this has proven difficult: The Myanmar government has constantly denied the truth of the situation in Rakhine and of the actions of their own army, refusing to work with both Bangladesh and the UN in ensuring that the Rohingya feel safe to return to their homes.

This is an important step that Myanmar must take, owning up to the violence carried out against the rohingya -- which has included burning their houses, rape, and murder -- so that the individuals responsible for the atrocities are brought to justice.

It will also be a first step for Myanmar to show the world that they understand the grave injustice being carried out, and that they are willing to right this grave wrong, once and for all.

For the voluntary return of the Rohingya, they must feel that Rakhine affords them a safe place to live their lives, and that Myanmar will no longer treat them as second class citizens.

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