UN chief hears out Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Antonio Guterres says Rohingya ‘want justice and a safe return home’ on his visit to Cox’s Bazar
ANKARA: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday the safety of Rohingya refugees during the monsoon season was a priority.
The UN chief visited Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh with President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim.
In a tweet along with his picture with the refugees, Guterres said: “In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, I’ve just heard unimaginable accounts of killing and rape from Rohingya refugees who recently fled Myanmar.”
“They want justice and a safe return home.
“The safety of the Rohingya refugees during this monsoon season is priority one. As many as 200,000 need to be relocated.
“We cannot allow the monsoons to wash away the hopes of the Rohingya refugees I met today in Bangladesh,” he added.
While briefing reporters at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya on Monday afternoon, Guterres said he was heart-broken, local Daily Star reported.
“It is unbelievable. My heart is broken,” Guterres said. He narrated the atrocities committed by Myanmar forces as “systematic violation of human rights” on Rohingya.
“Repatriation should take place when the conditions for them to live with full dignity in their own country are there,” he added.
– Meeting Bangladeshi premier
On Sunday, the UN and World Bank chiefs held a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“They simultaneously reiterated their commitment to keep continued pressure on Mayanmar to resolve the crisis,” Hasina’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said after the meeting, state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported.
Hasina told them despite the bilateral agreement reached with Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation Naypyidaw was yet to take any action for its implementation, Karim quoted the premier as saying.
A statement by the UN said the joint visit to Bangladesh will end on July 3.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to Amnesty International.
At least 9,400 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24 last year, according to Doctors Without Borders.
In a report published recently, the humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.–AA

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