UN Sec-Gen meets HPM Sheikh Hasina: Assures more pressure on Myanmar

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Published on July 1, 2018
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    UN chief meets HPM Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the UN is pressuring Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

The UN chief and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her offices in Dhaka on Sunday as part of their trip to Bangladesh.

Guterres said there should be more pressure on Myanmar to make them understand what they should do on this issue, according to Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim.

The UN and World Bank officials also gave their assurances that the organisations would continue their support for Bangladesh on the issue.

Kim and Guterres are scheduled to visit the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar on Monday.

At least 700,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh since the Myanmar military began a crackdown in the state of Rakhine last August.

Combined with the approximately 400,000 Rohingyas previously living in Bangladesh, the total refugee population has increased to 1.1 million.

The UN has called the military operation ‘ethnic cleansing’. The Rohingya situation has been considered Asia’s largest refugee crisis in recent history.

Though the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments have reached an agreement on the return of the refugees, progress on implementing the plan has been slow.

The UN has emphasised the need for a voluntary, safe and respectful return process that follows international law.

Guterres praised Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh government for opening the door to the Rohingya refugees and for giving them refuge.

He also discussed the possibility of providing education to the refugees in Bangladesh.

“Their main concern is that the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh may become involved in extremism,” Karim said.

The UN secretary general also praised the World Bank for stepping forward to provide help on the issue. The World Bank recently announced a $480 million fund for helping the Rohingyas.