EDITORIAL: Another fresh Rohingya exodus?
DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - International inaction breeding impunity
The fact that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed to pass a resolution and handed out merely a statement condemning atrocities committed against the Rohingya people has apparently emboldened the Myanmar security forces. If what the International Red Cross (IRC) fears comes true, Bangladesh may be facing a fresh exodus of Rohingyas, numbering as many as 200,000 people, pouring over the border in the coming weeks! If another 200,000 are pushed out it would virtually fulfil Myanmar's long-term goal to depopulate the Rakhine State of the Rohingya minority group.
It would appear that the world community has turned its back on the continued violence and persecution of the Rohingyas. While Bangladesh reels from the pressures of looking after nearly a million people on its soil, we have neither received the necessary foreign financial commitments from the developed nations, nor have any meaningful steps been taken by the UNSC that could check the violence against an unarmed people. The children and the old are the worst hit by the violence in Rakhine State and malnutrition is running rampant amongst those lucky enough to have escaped the violence and ended on our side of the border.
We have done our best to provide shelter and humanitarian assistance to these displaced people. A public health crisis is looming on the horizon, and it is ludicrous to think that Bangladesh should go on bearing the responsibility of keeping Rohingyas safe indefinitely while the UNSC debates on and on about whether it should or should not pass a resolution condemning the actions of the Myanmar government. The time for proactive action has arrived and the manner in which the Rohingyas have been treated should be subject of inquiry by the international war crimes tribunal at The Hague.