China and Russia have stressed the need for bilateral solutions between Bangladesh and Myanmar on Rohingya crisis instead of creating international pressure on Myanmar.
At a discussion at the United Nations Security Council early Tuesday, the Chinese permanent representative reiterated the call for seeking bilateral solutions to the Rohingya crisis without ‘internationalising’ the matter as such, according to diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York.
The Chinese envoy in his statement mentioned the term ‘bilateral’ at least 18 times.
The Russian delegation suggested that external actors should refrain from serving their narrow political interests by insisting on international pressure on Myanmar while the issue should be resolved bilaterally between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Russia also claimed that the Myanmar authorities were maintaining transparency without any effort to conceal and deny any fact on the matter.
The US envoy to the UN expressed frustration at what she termed as ‘disheartening’ responses from the Myanmar side on a number of critical issues.
She underscored the need for decisive action based on what the UNSC members had witnessed on the ground in Cox’s Bazar and in Rakhine.
She stressed the need for Myanmar to show discernible progress on the questions of accountability of persons engaged in violence
in Rakhine, citizenship of Rohingya people and their freedom of movement.
She regretted repeated attempts by some UNSC members to weaken any outcome document and positions on Rohingya affairs.
The Kuwait permanent representative described the violence against Rohingya people since August 2017 as ethnic cleansing.
Representatives of the US, Kuwait and France also stressed the need for a resolution by the UNSC, while the Chinese and Russian delegations objected to any such move and insisted that the Myanmar side should be allowed more time to settle the problems.
Several representatives said that their visits to Rohingya camps in Bangladesh were an eye-opening experience for them about the enormity and magnitude of the crisis.
Some council members also stressed the need for ensuring accountability and justice for the crimes committed against Rohingya people, as well as for creating unimpeded access for relevant UN agencies in Rakhine, and for fostering a situation conducive to voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya people to Rakhine of Myanmar.
Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and Bolivia representatives were silent in the discussion.
The Myanmar envoy accused Bangladesh of vilifying his country in the UN and other international platforms and for delay in starting the repatriation process.
The Bangladesh permanent representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen stressed the need for a binding resolution by the UNSC on resolving Rohingya crisis.
Top Bangladesh diplomats believe that the Rohingya crisis was created through atrocities and denial of fundamental rights by successive military-controlled governments on their minority people in Rakhine over the decades, while Bangladesh have been providing only shelters on humanitarian grounds.
About 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the UN denounced as ethnic cleansing since August 25, 2017.
The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 11,00,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.
The two governments signed three instruments since November 23, 2017, for return of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals sheltered in Bangladesh after October 2016, as the Rohingya exodus from Rakhine State continued.
The government also signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNHCR to facilitate voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya people.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Politics