Rohingya issue: UNSC to work hard but sanction on Myanmar not yet
UNSC team visiting Kutupalong Rohingya camp on Sunday. Photo: UNB
The visiting UN Security Council (UNSC) team on Sunday promised to work hard to resolve the Rohingya crisis but ruled out any sanction by the council anytime soon.
Peru’s Ambassador to the UN and delegation leader Gustavo Adolfo Meza Cuadra Velasqez said he and his fellow team members were ready to “work hard” and were “very concerned” about the crisis.
“I think, we’ve witnessed the magnitude of the refugee crisis and very tragic situation of some of the families,” said the delegation leader.
United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce said the UNSC is going to work hard to help Bangladesh and Myanmar resolve this crisis.
“The problem there lies in their expulsion, treatment and the fact that they had to flee to Bangladesh,” she said.
Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi said they should not expect that there will be a very quick solution and the council will take a decision or impose sanctions. “Because I don’t think there will be a sanction by the council anytime soon.”
He said the problem is in Myanmar and what they will ask Myanmar just to implement their obligation.
“Hopefully, the situation won’t deteriorate. We hope the special envoy recently appointed by the UN secretary general will play his role and we’ll see speedy implementation of the agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar,” Otaibi said.
The high-profile delegation of the UN Security Council termed Rohingya crisis a very “complex” issue and said there is no ‘easy solution’ to it.
“This is indeed a very complex issue. There won’t be an easy solution to this. We work together in the Security Council (on the issue),” one of the delegation members told reporters after visiting Rohingya camp.
They acknowledged that there is a crisis and problem lies there in their (Rohingyas’) expulsion, their treatment and the fact that they had to flee Rakhine to Bangladesh.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said it is easy to lead a fire but very difficult to extinguish it.
“From the very beginning, we said its solution is difficult. The UNSC members now understand the depth of the problem,” he said adding that the delegation members highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government’s efforts.
He said the UNSC team is touched by the stories of Rohingyas and realised that the root cause of Rohingya crisis lies in Myanmar.
The State Minister said the UNSC team agreed on broader issues, including the fact that the solution lies in Myanmar as problem is in Myanmar, but there has been no consensus yet on imposing sanction on Myanmar or stronger action against Myanmar.
Some of the Rohingyas are seen displaying placards that read: “We want justice”, “Welcome to UNSC delegation” and “Not Bangali, Yes Rohingyas.”
Earlier, the UNSC team visited Kutupalobg Rohingya camp and listened to tales of brutalities from Rohingyas who came here following army crackdown in Rakhine.
They also witnessed the situation on the ground and interacted with Rohingyas living on zero line at Tambru border point of Naikkhangchhari area in Bandarban.
After visiting Kutupalong Rohingya camp, the delegation members told reporters that they witnessed the situation and will see the situation on other side of the border to come up with their final observation.
They, however, laid emphasis on safe repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam accompanied the UNSC delegation during the visit.
Earlier, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed the UN Security Council on a crisis that has been with Bangladesh for decades and called for consensus of the Security Council.
UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo in a tweet termed the visit of UNSC team to Bangladesh a historic one.
During their interaction at different levels, the delegation members assured all of taking effective steps to help resolve the Rohingya crisis.
The team, led by UNSC President for the month of April Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, arrived here on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of the visit, an international analyst told UNB that Bangladesh needs to provide “strong and unassailable evidence” backed up by documents to make its case before the UN Security Council delegation.
“Of course, the refugees are incontrovertible proof of persecution and ethnic cleansing, but thus far it hasn’t been enough,” said Ali Riaz, a Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Illinois State University, USA.
He said the UN should understand it has a stake, too. “Thus far, it has failed [to deal with] Rohingya refugees. It’ is unconscionable and it cannot be continued any longer.”
Prof Riaz said, “Hopefully, the cycle of inaction will be broken.”
Bangladesh is stressing the need for keeping up pressure on Myanmar from different levels for resolving the Rohingya crisis, an official said, adding that the government remained engaged globally.
The UNSC team is scheduled to leave Cox’s Bazar for Dhaka on Sunday afternoon.
They are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Gonobhaban at 9:30am on Monday and will leave Dhaka at 10:30am for Myanmar.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam is expected to host a reception in honour of the UNSC team at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden on Sunday evening.
The UN Security Council is composed of 15 members with five permanent members -- China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States -- and 10 non-permanent members.
Over 700,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, and the influx, though reduced in recent weeks, continues despite Myanmar's assurances of stopping violence in Rakhine. Source: unb.