Bangladesh’s prime minister has called on Myanmar to take back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled from the Rakhine state.
In a visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp on Tuesday, Sheikh Hasina said Myanmar should “take all their citizens back to their country and create a congenial atmosphere so that they can go back”.
According to the United Nations (UN), about 370,000 Rohingya have crossed the border in the last three weeks to escape the military crackdown and village burnings, following some militants’ attack on police posts.
“And still people are trying to get into the country,” said UNICEF spokesman Jean-Jaques Simon. “The scale is quite something, the rapidity of the new arrivals.”
Myanmar continues to draw international criticism for the crisis, as the UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein described the situation as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” on Monday.
Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei denounced Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi for her failure to stop the violence. “A cruel government, at the top of which sits a cruel woman who was awarded a Nobel prize, kills innocent people, sets fire to them, destroys their houses and displaces them and no tangible reaction is seen,” Khamenei said in a speech on Tuesday. “Yes, they condemn it, issue statements, but what good does it do? They should take action. This marks the death of the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Sheikh Hasina also condemned the country’s treatment of the minority ethnic group. “My personal message is very clear, that they should consider this situation with the eyes of humanity,” she told BBC. “So these people, they belong to Myanmar. Hundreds of years they are staying there. How they can deny that they are not their citizens?”