China, Russia require revising Rohingya strategy

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:32, Jan 26,2020


The claim of jurisdiction by UN apex court International Court of Justice in Rohingya genocide case would require concerned countries, especially Russia and China, to revise their strategies over Rohingya issue, said diplomats on Saturday.

‘Concerned countries would require revising their strategies after the decisions of the International Court of Justice,’ said immediate-past foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque at a discussion at North South University in Dhaka.

UN Security Council members China and Russia were now expected to act as responsible states, said Shahidul, now senior fellow at North South University’s Center for Peace Studies.

Myanmar would be under constant scrutiny of the UN bodies as the UN’s highest court imposed urgent measures on Myanmar and would also send its decision to the UN Security Council, he said.

He also mentioned that UN secretary general António Guterres had already announced his readiness to expedite the process.

The International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar for the first time on January 23 to do everything in its power to prevent the alleged genocide of Rohingya Muslims.

Bangladesh would also require setting a new balance between national interests and international obligation as a humanitarian state, said Haque.

He said, ‘Bangladesh is expected to be more responsible in terms of humanitarian aspects as the process of repatriation might get a different dimension as hearing on the merit of the Rohingya case might continue at the Hague-based court for years.’

A blend of bilateral and multilateral approaches would be necessary as the Rohingya issue would also dominate at the International Criminal Court and the UN General Assembly and other multilateral platforms, he said.

At the discussion, Canada high commissioner Benoit Prefontaine said that his country advocated accountability in Rohingya genocide issues.

Burden on Bangladesh over Rohingya crisis should be reduced and countries should change their positions, he said.

‘It is going to be game of chess…as the ICJ process would take several years and still a lot of works to be done,’ he added.

Myanmar had a few months to take steps to protect minority Rohingya before reporting to the the International Court of Justice for the first time, he said.

Over 7.40 lakh Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ that the Myanmar military launched in Rakhine on August 25, 2017. The United Nations denounced the event as ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 1.2 million, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh authorities.

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