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Bangladesh Rebuffs UN Call To Accept Myanmar Clash Victims

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Source: Bloomberg News

Bangladesh dismissed calls from the United Nations refugee agency to accept people fleeing violence that has claimed dozens of lives in neighboring Myanmar.

A Burmese refugee pleading to Border Guards.Photo courtesy of The Daily Star

“It is certainly not in the best of our interests to allow in a further influx of refugees,” Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters in Dhaka yesterday, responding to reports that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees urged the country to provide a safe haven. “We want to make sure that refugees don’t enter Bangladesh in large numbers again.”
Myanmar declared a state of emergency on June 10 in western Rakhine state, bordering Bangladesh, in a bid to end clashes between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas that erupted a week earlier. Bangladesh authorities have turned back boats carrying hundreds of Rohingyas, including women and children who traveled for as long as nine hours without food and water.
Bangladesh is seeking to avoid a repeat of influxes in previous decades that have left more than 200,000 Rohingyas living in or around makeshift camps. The UNHCR said in December that its ability to address the issue of Rohingyas in Bangladesh has been “particularly challenging” and the country is “not well placed to cope with this protracted refugee situation.”
‘Very Concerned’
The UNHCR yesterday said it was “very concerned” about reports Bangladesh had turned away people fleeing violence and sought a clarification from authorities. The UN agency asked Bangladesh to allow people in need of safety and immediate medical assistance to enter the country.
“Previously people have been allowed in to Bangladesh for medical treatment,” the UNHCR said in a statement. “We hope that such good practices will be maintained.”
The unrest began after an alleged rape prompted a mob of about 300 Rakhine Buddhists to murder 10 Muslims on June 3, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch. Myanmar imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in four towns in Rakhine and prohibited more than five people from gathering in public areas at a time, according to the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper.


Posted by on June 13, 2012. Filed under Bangladesh,Human Rights,Humanitarian crisis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to Bangladesh Rebuffs UN Call To Accept Myanmar Clash Victims

  1. Sazzad Khandakar‏

    June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Bangladesh did not take part in 1951 Refugee convention or its 1967 protocols. However, for humanitarian reason, it should open its borders to refugees of any kind. It was not too long ago, during the liberation war of Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of its citizens had to take refuge in India.

  2. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    June 14, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Jordan for instance (and I think Syria also) alsodid not sign the 1951 Refugee Convention, still it allowed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees – as ‘guests’ – into the country (and Syria more than a million). And now Jordan also hosts more than 120’000 newly arrived ‘guests’ from Syria. In fact Syrians can reside anywhere in the country without the need of a residence permit. May other countries do the same!

  3. Muhammad Azimul Haque

    June 14, 2012 at 5:51 am

    God forbid, but scientists have predicted that as a result of global warming 2/3rd of land of Bangladesh will submerge in sea. If we do not set proper examples for others, then only Allah(swt) can help Bangladesh and Bangladeshi brothers if they God forbid face this trial.

  4. Raziya Mohamedali

    June 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

    It’s so inhuman of Bangladesh to refuse these refugees safe haven. If they really follow Islam, then, that’s what they should do…

  5. Mirza Ghulam Rabbi

    June 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Wake up Bangladesh don’t forget that India, a non-muslim country, accepted so many of your refugees in 1971 War! Vast majority of your population are followers of the Mercy of Mankind, Hazrat Muhammad (sm) – Don’t refuse his followers when they need you!

  6. Alfa

    June 16, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Why not UN Call to Accept Myanmar to received their own Clash Victims!!!
    Or it a UN!US! plan to unsterilized the region to brig United States Seventh Fleet to bay of bengal…