Dhaka: Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid on Saturday said the Rohingya crisis can destabilize the entire region if left unresolved.
Addressing the 5th Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) at Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, Hamid stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the Rohingya crisis, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The President also sought support and cooperation from CICA partners so that the forcibly displaced inhabitants of the Rakhine state can return to their homeland with “safety, security, and dignity”.
“The world knows Bangladesh hosts 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. You must be aware of the evidence of genocide and gross violation of human rights, which has been termed a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ and humanitarian catastrophe of unmanageable magnitude,” he added.
“Asian security is vulnerable as irregular migration, drug trafficking, territorial claims, ethnic conflicts, separatism, economic problems, and climate change are visible here. To address these crucial challenges, CICA needs to enhance its capacity by promoting the concept of indivisible security,” the President was quoted as saying.
Rohingya, who belong to the Rakhine state in Myanmar, have been facing extreme persecution by authorities and majority Buddhists. It has further prompted their flight over the years, many on rickety boats that are mostly pushed back into the open sea by countries, especially Thailand and Myanmar.
Myanmar regards Rohingya as illegal migrants from the Indian subcontinent and has confined tens of thousands to sprawling camps in Rakhine since violence swept the area in 2012.
The unrest prompted thousands of minorities to flee Myanmar by sea. The exodus peaked in 2015 when an estimated 25,000 people crossed the Andaman Sea for Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, many drowning in unsafe and overloaded boats.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women, and children fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
According to a UN report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience,” around 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized.