• Friday, Dec 02, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

ED: An overwhelming refugee crisis, four years on

  • Published at 06:20 pm August 25th, 2021
Rohingya refugee
Over one million Rohingyas live in Bangladesh now since fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2017 Syed Zakir Hossain

It bears repeating that Myanmar has never shown any serious intent in taking back its own people

It has been four years since about three quarters of a million Rohingya were forced to flee their homes in Rakhine State and become refugees, owing to the brutal actions of the Myanmar military. 

This mass exodus, coupled with the hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya who had previously fled Myanmar due to the continuous and systematic torture of on this minority group, means that Bangladesh is now home to over a million Rohingya. 

There should be no scope for questioning Bangladesh’s humanity and generosity in sheltering these refugees for years on end now -- despite our limited resources and dense population, our nation has gone above and beyond to ensure security and shelter to the displaced Rohingya who should have never had to leave the land they called home in the first place. 

To that end, it is extremely disheartening to see that there has been little to no progress with regard to repatriating the Rohingya, owing to the blatant disregard of the bilateral agreements and discussions that took place between Myanmar and Bangladesh from those in power at Naypyidaw.

It bears repeating that Myanmar has, till date, never shown any serious intent in taking back its own people, has never made any efforts in ensuring a safe, harmonious environment for them, and has never held those who were responsible for such atrocities accountable for their heinous crimes against humanity. 

In addition, the international community’s inaction on the matter, and failure to put significant pressure on Myanmar, has been extremely disappointing; while often quick to lecture developing economies on their supposed lack of human rights, their silence on injustice of such magnitude is nothing if not hypocrisy. 

Four years on, the Rohingya live in uncertainty, and Bangladesh continues to scramble for resources to meet this enduring crisis. This cannot be a long-term solution. The Rohingya, ultimately, must be repatriated to their homeland in Myanmar, and the army that brutalized them must be held to account in front of the world.

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