The Rohingya repatriation issue has entered a dark passage as the United Nations believes it is almost impossible as a premeditated attack on the minority community will permanently drive them out from their homes in Rakhine state. Authentic information indicates that the Myanmar security forces purposely destroyed the property of Rohingyas, targeting their houses, fields, food-stocks, crops, livestock and even trees, to render the possibility of the Rohingya returning to normal lives and livelihoods in the future in northern Rakhine almost impossible.
The United Nations said in a report on Wednesday that attacks on Rohingyas there are well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving out the population but preventing them from returning to their homes. Such statements coming from neutral observers like the UN is surely indicative of ominous prospect for both the Rohingyas and Bangladesh.
The UN observers based in Dhaka had visited the makeshift camps in the border areas and talked in length with the refugees. They noted down how the civilian population in Rakhine has been targeted by armed people and attacked them with the support of Myanmar army. They gave horrid description of shooting, rape and arson that took place in their villages forcing them to flee. In the face of the continued atrocities they had to run to the forests and hills and finally into Bangladesh. The UN report highlights a strategy to “instil deep and widespread fear and trauma – physical, emotional and psychological” among the Rohingya population.
Like Bangladesh, the UN Human Rights Office is also deeply concerned about the safety of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who remain in northern Rakhine State amid reports the violence is still going on. It further said that by denying the Rohingya population their political, civil, economic and cultural rights, including the right to citizenship, the Myanmar government’s actions appear to be “a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return.” The UN office calls on the authorities to immediately allow humanitarian and human rights workers’ access to the stricken areas.
We express our deep concern over the developments in the border with Myanmar, especially over the UN fear that repatriation of Rohingyas may become impossible at one stage. In this regard we urge the Bangladesh foreign office to take further diplomatic steps and actions for quick resolution of the crisis before it turns into a large scale socio-economic and law and order issue.e