DHAKA, Aug 17 — Rohingya refugees on Tuesday called on visiting United Nations (UN) rights chief Michelle Bachelet to actively engage the UN in creating a conducive environment in Myanmar for the sustainable repatriation of the persecuted minority to their home country, reported Anadolu Agency.
Bachelet’s visit marked the first time a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has visited Bangladesh as well as the Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar District.
Amid tight security, she spent several hours in the congested camps and visited the offices of various aid agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to assess the services in the world’s largest refugee camp.
She also exchanged views with a group of Rohingya representatives and asked the genocide survivors about their needs and demands.
“We requested her to engage the UN as the world’s most powerful organisation to create a peaceful environment in Myanmar so that we can go back to our homeland with citizenship rights and safety,” Maulana Azim Ullah, a Rohingya religious leader, told Anadolu Agency after the meeting.
Ullah said Bachelet assured them of the UN’s positive role in the peaceful and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya, adding that “until peaceful repatriation, she urged us to keep patience and stay peacefully in Bangladesh’s camps.”
Rohingya youth leader Khin Maung, however, said they are not satisfied with the slow movement of the UN in resolving the Rohingya crisis.
“We see that the role of the UN only concentrates on taking information, issuing statements and providing mere assurance. I (will) never believe that such a powerful platform of world leaders needs such a long time to create an environment in Myanmar for the sustainable repatriation of the stateless Rohingya,” Maung added.
Pointing to the recent murders of two Rohingya leaders in the camps, he also called on the international community and host country Bangladesh to take proper steps for strengthening the safety measures in the camps.
Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Shah Rezwan Hayat received the UN rights chief at the camp, though his office did not issue any statement.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in their home country of Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017.