Momen renews Bangladesh call for ensuring Myanmar’s accountability

DHAKA, Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Momen today renewed

Dhaka's call urging global community to make Myanmar accountable for carrying

out atrocities on minority Rohingyas forcing their mass exodus to take refuge

in Bangladesh.

The international community must take strong resolve to ensure that

Myanmar is held accountable for this gross violation of human rights, he

said opening a seminar marking 70th Anniversary of Geneva Conventions in

the capital. Otherwise, he feared, the spirit and value of the Geneva

Conventions would continue to be undermined.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Diplomatic

Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (DCAB) oirganised the daylong

seminar at BIISS auditorium.

The minister said Myanmar now laid mines on its borders with Bangladesh to

prevent Rohingyas return after their troops drove them out spearheading a

cleansing campaign in a form which the UN described as the worst form of

human rights violations.

Even today, he said, the Rohingyas continue to flee their home to escape

forced starvation under a calculated Myanmar policy.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh, however, remained deeply committed

to international humanitarian law as it had suffered the worst forms of war

crimes and crimes against humanity during its 1971 Liberation War.

Our commitment is reflected in our hosting of the Rohingyas and ensuring

their basic services in Bangladesh, he said adding that Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina took the bold decision for offering them the refuge being led

by her own pledge to humanitarian principles.

Prime Minister's proposal to establish safe zone in Rakhine (Rohingyas

homeland) is also premised upon her respect for humanitarian principles of

safety, security and dignity, Momen added.

He Bangladesh continued to pursue the issue of making Myanmar accountable

over rights as we are committed against all kinds of genocide across the

world and we do believe those who are responsible for any genocide must be

made accountable.

As approached by newsmen on the seminar sideliner, Momen, however, was

critical of the United Nations handling of the crisis as the situation was

erupting but preferred to call it a procedural error

The UN hid some information . . . of course they (the UN) can't avoid

their liability for that, he said as asked for comments for a UN report

acknowledging its mistakes.

He said the Rohingya crisis was not created in one day, rather the ethnic

hatred prevailed in Myanmar since long in Myanmar but the UN was not aware

about it (the ethnic suppression inside Myanmar).

Momen said Bangladesh is committed to uphold humanitarian laws, which is

reflected through participation of its troops in the UN peacekeeping


He said the foreign ministry established a national committee on

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to promote humanitarian law in general

and the Geneva conventions in particular in Bangladesh.

As the world marks 70 years since the Geneva Conventions were adopted,

there is a need to strengthen efforts to forge stronger commitment to

humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva conventions by the nations, he

said. ICRC Bangladesh Head of Delegation Ikhtiyar Aslanov, Bangladesh Red

Crescent Society Secretary General Firoz Salauddin, DCAB President Raheed

Ejaz and General Secretary Nurul Islam Hasib also spoke on the occasion.

Currently, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced

Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and most of them arrived here since August

25, 2017 after a military crackdown by Myanmar termed as textbook example of

ethnic cleansing by the UN.

The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional

protocols, that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian

treatment in war and protect refugees.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)