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15 November, 2017 00:00 00 AM

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ROHINGYA CRISIS

Potential source of instability in region, UN chief tells ASEAN

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, has made the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) known that the ongoing Rohingya crisis originated in one of its members, Myanmar, is a potential source of instability in the region as well as radicalisation. Reiterating his call for unfettered humanitarian access to the affected areas of Rakhine, the place of atrocities committed by the Myanmar security forces and other ethnic groups, he placed greater emphasis on safe and dignified returns of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their homes and addressing the root causes by implementing the recommendations of the Annan commission.

“I cannot hide my deep concern with the dramatic movement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh.  It is a worrying escalation in a protracted tragedy and a potential source of instability in the region, and radicalisation,” the UN secretary general said while addressing the ninth ASEAN‑UN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on Monday. “The United Nations welcomes constructive approaches by ASEAN, including the provision of humanitarian aid to northern Rakhine,” he said. The chief of the global body also said, “Since the beginning of the crisis, and beyond the end of violence, I have called for unhindered humanitarian access to affected communities; and the right to safe, voluntary and dignified return of those who fled, to their places of origin.”

“Addressing the underlying issues by implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine will also be critical to reversing this tragedy,” he added.

More than 6.15 lakh Rohingyas had to cross into Bangladesh to escape the brutalities of the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist mobs and other ethnic groups since August 25. This is in addition to 4.5 lakh already living in the country for a long time. According to International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, 4,000 Rohingyas have entered Cox’s Bazar from Rakhine between November 9 and 12, and biometric registration of about 5 lakh Rohingyas have already been done by the government of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, now in the region, will make a visit to Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, to talk about this issue with senior leaders of that country. “The secretary will travel to Naypyidaw, Burma (Myanmar), where on November 15 he will meet and consult with senior leaders and officials on actions to address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and US support for Burma’s democratic transition,” according to a media note issued by the state department.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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