UN chief phones PM Hasina, discusses Rohingya crisis

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Saturday reiterated her call to the international community, especially the United Nations to put more pressure on the Myanmar government for taking back Rohingyas.

The prime minister made the call when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres phoned her Saturday night.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said that the UN secretary general made the phone call to PM Sheikh Hasina at around 9.30 pm and talked to her about 20 minutes on the Rohingya crisis.

During the conversation, she also sought the UN secretary general’s support for the implementation of her five-point proposal she placed in the 72nd UN General Assembly Session held in New York last month.

“I’ve presented the five-point proposal for sustainable solution to the problem,” she told Guterres.

The five-point proposal are:

1. Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever.

2. Secretary General of the United Nations should immediately send a Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar.

3. All civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity must be protected in Myanmar. For that “safe zones” could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision.

4. Ensure sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar.

5. The recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission Report must be immediately implemented unconditionally and in its entirety.

The press secretary said that the prime minister thanked the UN secretary general for the phone call and sought his support and continued engagement with the issue until a durable solution to this Rohingya crisis could be found out.

PM Hasina said Bangladesh has already been engaged with Myanmar bilaterally to find out a workable arrangement for return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homeland by peaceful means.

She told Guterres: “You’re very much aware that the root cause of the problem lies in Myanmar and its solution to be found in Myanmar.”

Sheikh Hasina said the Bangladesh foreign minister will visit New York soon to apprise him (Guterres) of the ground situation and reality on the issue.

“We’re also sending our home minister to Myanmar to find out a solution to the Rohingya crisis,” she told the UN secretary general.

The press secretary said the UN secretary general expressed grave concern over the influx of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people into Bangladesh.

In this connection, he also extended his solidarity with Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue and thanked the government for sheltering and providing services to the forcibly evicted Myanmar citizens.

Sheikh Hasina thanked the UN secretary general for his concern, compassion and support for the Rohingya people as well as his continued and strong pro-active role in drawing the UN Security Council and world community’s attention.

“The number of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals has already crossed 6,00,000 bringing the total number to one million,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has given shelter to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds.

She said the people and the government of Bangladesh are addressing the crisis together with the cooperation of all UN agencies.

“IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, FAO, UN Women, UNDP and other UN agencies providing emergency humanitarian assistance and services under the coordination and overall supervision of the Bangladesh government,” she said.

The prime minister said the government has allowed full access to the UN agencies as well as international and local NGOs to work in Cox’s Bazar areas.

Sheikh Hasina told the UN secretary general that she is aware of the October 23 UN Pledging Conference in Geneva which is likely to discuss the Rohingya issue.

“Our permanent representative to Geneva will take part in the conference,” she said.

Source: The Daily Ittefaq

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