Bangladesh today urged the international community to pursue Myanmar government for “immediate and unconditional” implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission’s recommendations on Rakhine state where Rohingya Muslims have been facing widespread abuses that created serious humanitarian crisis.
“We want that the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission should be implemented in totality, immediately and unconditionally for permanent solution of the crisis,” said Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque after the second diplomatic briefing at State Guest House “the Padma” here this afternoon.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali organized the briefing to inform the foreign diplomats about the humanitarian crisis created following persecution of Rohinga Muslims in Rakhine State of Myanmar that led to influx of huge number of Rohingays to Bangladesh.
Ambassadors, High Commissioners and CDAs from diplomatic Missions of Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Maldives were present at the diplomatic briefing.
Later, the foreign secretary in a media briefing said the foreign diplomats expressed concerns over the present humanitarian crisis created following exodus of thousands of Rohingyas and assured Bangladesh to stay beside it in this regard.
“They have assured us that they would provide all out cooperation in sharing of burden through mobilization of resources in hosting the Rohingya Muslims, who fled to Bangladesh,” he added.
Responding to a query, the foreign secretary told media that India and China have also committed to stay beside Bangladesh in this critical juncture. “India and China are two brotherly countries…they have committed to stay beside Bangladesh to face the humanitarian crisis,” he added.
He said the diplomats applauded Bangladesh government for hosting the huge number of Rohingyas for three decades and giving shelter to the Myanmar nationals who are fleeing violence in the Rakhine State. They also stressed on the protection of civilians in the Rakhine State, he added.
Bangladesh has urged the world community to extend their cooperation to solve the Rohingya crisis.
Earlier, during the diplomatic briefing the foreign minister apprised them that around 300,000 Rohingyas have already entered Bangladesh in last two weeks although Bangladesh has already been hosting 400,000 Rohingyas for three decades.
He said currently the total number of Myanmar nationals living in Bangladesh has reached over 700,000 which are creating huge challenge for Bangladesh in terms of providing shelter as well as other humanitarian assistances to them.
The Foreign Minister highlighted that Bangladesh has always preferred bilateral solution to this long standing problem and was successful in repatriating 236,599 Rohingyas to their homeland through a bilateral agreement in 1992. He mentioned that the 1992 agreement recognized Rohingyas as ‘members of Myanmar society’.
He also highlighted Bangladesh’s efforts to address the security concerns of Myanmar particularly by proposing MOUs in 2014 on Border Liaison Office and Security Dialogue.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh has also proposed joint inspection, coordinated patrolling of border; and ‘joint operation’ along the border.
“Unfortunately Myanmar has not responded to these proposals. Rather, they have been running a malicious propaganda terming the Rohingyas as ‘illegal migrants from Bangladesh’ and the attackers to their BGP posts as ‘Bengali terrorists,” he added.
The foreign minister requested the international community to help Bangladesh with urgent humanitarian assistances to address the current crisis, support for transportation of the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, as well as to provide political support to ensure sustainable return of all Myanmar nationals to their homes in Myanmar.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque and other senior officials of the foreign ministry were present at the briefing.