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The Rohingya Crisis for Bangladesh

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The Rohingya Crisis for Bangladesh essay
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Historical Background

According to the report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA, 2017)), at least 800,000 Muslims live in Rakhine state of Western Myanmar/Burma, where majority identify themselves as Rohingya. They were stripped off their citizenship and right to self identify by the 1982 Citizenship Law implemented by the then Myanmar govt. The Rohingyas are also subject to many restrictions in day to day life. For example, they are banned from travelling without authorization; prohibited from working outside their villages; they cannot marry without permission; due to movement restrictions, they lack sufficient access to livelihood opportunities, medical care and education. The brutal killing of the Rohingya people and violence against them for several decades by the government of Myanmar has forced the Rohingyas to leave their country and take shelter in neighbouring countries. So, since then most of the tortured Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. Though the Rohingyas have been coming to Bangladesh since the 70s, a massive influx happened during 1991-1992. Among those who arrived in the early nineties, 33,148 are living in Nayapara and Kutupalong camps in Cox’sBazar managed by the UN Refugee

Recent Influx

Afresh killing and torture of the Rohingyas started in Myanmar from 25 August, 2017. The brutality against them by the Myanmar army has been termed as “ethnic cleansing.” According to the office of the Cox’s Bazar, one of 64 districts of Bangladesh, District Commissioner, from 25 August, 2017 to 25 January 2018, a total of 650,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. Around 203,431 Rohingyas were already living in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar who entered Bangladesh during July 2005-24 August 2017. Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas of Cox’s Bazar are the focal areas of Rohingya camps. Except these two areas, about 200,000 Rohingyas are living in the surrounding area of Ramu, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Chittagong and other areas of Chittagong district.

Diplomatic Initiatives

The UNHCR has termed the atrocities against the Rohingyas in Myanmar as ethnic cleansing.The five-point proposal by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina:

  • Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever.
  • Secretary General of the United Nations should immediately send a Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar.
  • All civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity must be protected in Myanmar. For that “safe zones” could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision.
  • Ensure sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar.
  • The recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission Report must be immediately implemented unconditionally.

UN Security Council Calls on Myanmar to end excessive military force and inter communal violence in Rakhin estate. Kofi Annan commission calls on Myanmar to resolve Rohingya crisis in Rakhine. The EU has renewed its sanctions against Myanmar until 30 April 2018 that imposes embargo on providing Myanmar with arms and goods. The US has declared withdrawal of military assistance from Myanmar in the view Myanmar treatment to the Rohingya people. Re-imposition of targeted sanctions on Myanmar is also being considered by the USA.

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