Dhaka has urged Naypyidaw to fully implement the order given by the International Court of Justice and respect the expectations of the international community.
“It’s a victory for humanity, a milestone for human rights activists, a victory for The Gambia, the OIC, the Rohingyas and of course, for Bangladesh,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said, hailing the order.
“God bless humanity and also the ‘Mother of Humanity’ Sheikh Hasina,” he said, adding that the ICJ ruling would set an example for the world so that no one is discriminated and persecuted like the Rohingyas.
He was talking to The Daily Star last night over the phone from Ecuador where he is attending the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
Bangladesh has been sheltering the Rohingyas, the most persecuted minority, since the 1980s. After August 2017, some 750,000 Rohingyas arrived in the country fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine. They joined another 300,000 Rohingyas who had fled earlier waves of violence.
Momen also said the ruling by the UN’s top court was an effective step towards bringing sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.
“We hope that good sense will prevail on the Myanmar side and they will do everything possible to solve the crisis.”
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said Dhaka believed that the verdict would ensure Rohingyas’ safety in Rakhine state.
“We believe that the International Court of Justice ruling on provisional measures will generate confidence among the Rohingyas living in the camps in Bangladesh and encourage them to return to their homeland in Myanmar,” he said.
He was reading out a statement at an event at a city hotel yesterday evening. The programme was organised by the Centre for Genocide Studies of Dhaka University.
Earlier in the day, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to prevent acts of genocide against the Rohingyas and stop destroying evidence.
The order came after The Gambia filed by the top UN court accusing Myanmar of violating the UN Genocide Convention.
Masud said the full implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling would help create a conducive environment to Rohingya repatriation and guarantee their safety and security in Rakhine state.
He said, “Bangladesh will remain engaged with Myanmar in its efforts to expedite a safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas … with active engagement of international community.”
He also said the ruling would not change the course of the bilateral process of the repatriation.
“Ruling of the International Court of Justice will certainly increase pressure on Myanmar. Utilisation of this opportunity for the repatriation will a big challenge for us.”
He also said the United Nations Security Council would now have the responsibility to act as per the verdict delivered by the International Court of Justice.
About the role of Myanmar’s friendly countries like China, Japan, Russia and others, he said, “They are also with us. However, we have to respect the geo-strategic interests of every country. We would solve the issue by maintaining good relation with all.”
Moderated by Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, director of the Center for Genocide Studies; the programme was addressed by Shahidul Haque, former foreign secretary; Lieutenant General Mahfuzur Rahman, principal staff officer of Armed Forces Division of Bangladesh Army; Nahida Sobhan, director general (United Nations) of the foreign ministry; Phedra Moon Morris, head of development assistance of Canadian High Commission in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Anisul Huq said the International Court of Justice verdict on the Rohingya atrocities was a victory for all peace-loving people across the world.
“All the people of the world want to see that the Rohingya crisis is solved. It will be solved when Myanmar takes the Rohingyas back and return their land to them,” he said addressing a function of Dhaka University LLM Lawyers’ Association at the Dhaka Club.