Published on 08:13 PM, March 22, 2022

Momen welcomes Blinken announcement acknowledging Rohingya genocide by Myanmar military

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Collected

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today welcomed the statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Myanmar military committed genocide against its minority Rohingya.

"We welcome the statement of US secretary of state and we hope Myanmar will repatriate their people (Rohingya) on a priority basis," he told the media at the foreign ministry in Dhaka today.

The foreign minister said it is good news that after Canada, the most superpower like the US recognized the atrocity against Rohingya as a genocide.

"This US recognition has made our position stronger as Dhaka has been saying the atrocity committed against Rohingya as genocide from the beginning of the influx," he said.

Momen also hoped that the US announcement might help the Gambia case filed with International Criminal Court against Myanmar.

The foreign minister believes that after Blinken's announcement, the Biden administration will put more pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingya people from Bangladesh.

"I do believe, if the world's big power will push (Myanmar), there will be a solution (of Rohingya repatriation)," he said, adding that Dhaka would be very happy if the US Secretary of State's announcement expedites the Rohingya Repatriation.

The foreign minister said the Rohingya crisis is not Bangladesh's liability, rather it is the responsibility and obligation of the world leaders.

The formal deceleration of genocide against Rohingya was made by Blinken made the announcement at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on Monday.

Blinken said evidence showed the "attack against Rohingya was widespread and systematic, which is crucial for reaching a determination of crimes against humanity."

Since August 25 in 2017, Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and most of them arrived there after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and other rights groups dubbed it as "genocide".

In the last four and half years, not a single Rohingya went back home. Myanmar agreed to take them back, but repatriation attempts failed twice due to trust deficit among the Rohingyas about their safety and security in Rakhine state.