Bangladesh on Saturday sought cooperation from its international partners to repatriate the forcibly displaced Rohingya people to Myanmar with safety and dignity, the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency report said.
“We seek a peaceful solution to the crisis and also signed instruments on their repatriation with Myanmar. [But] if it left unresolved, the crisis could destabilize the entire region,” the report quoted Bangladesh’s President M. Abdul Hamid as saying.
Hamid was addressing the 5th summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation to promote peace, security and stability in Asia, in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has championed the oppressed Rohingya Muslims on countless international stages, was among participants at the gathering, along with 39 representatives of different countries and international organizations, including other presidents and prime ministers.
Tajikistan’s President Emomail Rahmon served as chair.
A persecuted people
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.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent./aa