Best of Times … Worst of Times … Latest crisis relating to Rohyngas
We are undergoing a huge humanitarian crisis and the world recognizes this fact. The UN Refugee Agency, namely UNHCR, is concerned about the safety of a group of vulnerable Rohingya women, men and children from Myanmar, who have been living in a so-called “no man’s land” near the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh since the end of August 2017. The watchdog on the refugee issues is closely following the developments after they were reportedly ordered to vacate the area by the Myanmar authorities.It goes without saying that everyone has the right to seek asylum, just as they also have the right to return home when they deem the time and circumstances right. People who have fled violence in their country must be granted safety and protection and any decision to return must be voluntary and based upon a free and informed choice.All the media reports clearly suggest that conditions are not yet conducive to the return of Rohingya refugees. The causes of their flight have not been addressed and we have yet to see substantive progress on addressing the denial of their rights. Pursuing the conditions that will address these causes and enable their voluntary and sustainable return is critical.In this regard, all the sane bodies of the world requested the Government of Myanmar to allow humanitarian access to the relevant UN bodies and other partners throughout Rakhine State. This will be essential to promote coexistence among all of communities; to support the government towards their commitment to implement the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s (RAC) recommendations; and for UNHCR to monitor protection conditions, provide independent information to refugees, and accompany returns as and when they take place.In Bangladesh, the Government and people continue to generously receive refugees and to provide them with protection and support. More than 700,000 refugees have now sought refuge in the country since violence broke out in the northern part of Myanmar’s Rakhine State in late August of 2017.After a few days’ interval, Myanmar Army again took position alongTambru border in Naikkhonchhari upazilaofBandarban district today, creating panic among the Rohingyas who have taken shelter on no man’s land.Confirming the incident, representative of the Border Guard Bangladesh said that the situation along the Tambru border point is now calm and the BGB members, deployed in the border area, are on alert. They assured that there is nothing to be panicked and the BGB is ready to tackle any situation. However, they also mentioned that the members of Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) were seen patrolling the area since Monday morning.On last Saturday, Myanmar removed its Army from the Tambru border following a flag meeting with BGB on Friday.Myanmar Army took position with heavy troops and artillery along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border from Thursday morning.A good number of Rohingyas gathered near the zero point of the border in the last one month where the members of BGP along with Myanmar Army were seen conducting various activities like installing barbed-wire fences and setting up advance technological surveillance equipment. We submit our strongest protest to any activity by anybody that may pose threat to the sovereignty of our country and safety and security of our people.