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
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
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)