Dhaka, Bangladesh
UN, WB chiefs stand dumbfounded

UN, WB chiefs stand dumbfounded

'Unbelievable', says Guterres as both listen to Rohingya repression tales: Myanmar must repatriate them with citizenship

News Desk A joint mission of the chiefs of the United Nations and the World Bank to the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh Monday sent in a strong message that Myanmar must repatriate them with citizenship and safety. Analysts from diplomatic circles, however, find little hope for early return of the minority people to their homeland unless and until the big powers wielding veto powers at the UN give the all-clear. Both UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim took a trip to the sprawling refugee camps in frontier-district Cox's Bazar Monday and listened to tales of horrors particularly from women and children. Both appeared to have stood dumbfounded over the revelations about acts of 'ethnic cleansing' amid rapes and killings. "Unbelievableā€¦unimaginable," the UN chief executive exclaimed after having heard about the hitherto unheard atrocities, according to media reports. Back in the capital city, Dhaka, Antonio Guterres at a press conference laid emphasis on persistent commitment from the international community and putting pressure on Myanmar very strongly in a united way to help Rohingyas go back to their own homes safely. "We need both political solution and accountability," he told reporters at the joint press conference in a city hotel. The UN Chief laid emphasis on addressing citizenship issue and other basic rights of Rohingyas, saying that there is clear will within the Security Council to ask Myanmar to create the conditions for safe return of Rohingyas to their own homes in Myanmar. Asked whether there was any deal with Myanmar sidetracking the citizenship issue, the UN Secretary-General said there was no such agreement. He said for the UN they are Rohingyas but Myanmar says they are Bengali Muslims. He mentioned that this disagreement still exists. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Country Director Qimiao Fan and UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo were also present. Earlier, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, heard "unimaginable accounts of killing and rape from Rohingya refugees" who recently fled Myanmar. "They want justice and a safe return home," he tweeted from a Rohingya camp. In another tweet ahead of reaching the Rohingya camp the UN Chief said the Rohingyas are one of the most discriminated and vulnerable communities on earth. "The Rohingya refugee crisis is a humanitarian and human rights nightmare. I thank Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting the refugees," he said. He said he is along with Jim Yong Kim in Cox's Bazar on a mission of solidarity with Rohingya refugees and the communities supporting them. "The compassion generosity of the Bangladeshi people shows the best of humanity and saved many thousands of lives," he said in another tweet message. Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim arrived hereon Mondaymorning to visit Rohingya communities and humanitarian workers in Cox's Bazar district to advocate for increased donor support. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees FilippoGrandi, among others, are accompanying the UN chief on the visit. They arrived at Kutupalong at 10:30 am and are now visiting Kutupalong transit centre. They arrived here at Cox's Bazar airport by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at8:45am. The visit, an official said, will also highlight the "generosity" of Bangladesh in hosting the Rohingyas as well as the need for the international community "to do more." They will review the situation of the newly arrived Rohingyas in Bangladesh, and assess progress towards a safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees, in line with international standards, according to UN officials. The visit also aims to lay the groundwork for further dialogue with the government of Bangladesh on medium-term planning for the refugee situation and to reiterate the UN and the World Bank's support for finding comprehensive solutions to the situation of the Rohingya people, said the UN. Ahead of the Rohingya camp visit, WB President Kimon Sundaysaid, "We're all extremely concerned about the situation of Rohingyas." Appreciating Bangladesh's generous support, the visiting World Bank President insisted that generous humane countries that support refugees should not be punished. Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Bangladesh certainly wants Rohingyas to go back to their country from Bangladesh with dignity and safety. "That is what we want." Terming the situation a humanitarian tragedy, the WB chief said they need to move on this to make sure that the issue is addressed in a peaceful way. Since August last year, more than 700,000 Rohingya have taken shelter from violence in Myanmar in the Cox's Bazar district, making it the world's largest and fastest growing refugee camp, and putting pressure on the environment, existing infrastructure, and social services that were already constrained. (Inputs taken from agencies)

Share |