Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon believes Myanmar is not playing the role expected of it in repatriating refugees from Bangladesh to their homeland in order to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
Speaking to the media after visiting the Rohingya people at refugee camps in southern Bangladesh district of Cox’s Bazar neighbouring Myanmar on Wednesday, he voiced concerns over the ethnic group’s safety back in their country.
The former United Nations secretary-general, who is working as chairman of the Global Commission on Adaptation, came to Cox’s Bazar to see the impact of the Rohingya population on the environment of the area hosting the refugees.
Marshall Islands President Hilda Hein, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen were with Ban during the visit to a makeshift camp at Kutupalong, the largest refugee settlement in the world.
Rohingya men and women in ripped cloths and children without anything to wear gathered in front of their shanties to welcome Ban and the others.
Ban said he had helped tens of millions of refugees including Syrians when he served the world body.
“But what I saw today is really heartbreaking,” he said, hoping that the Rohingyas will be able to return to their homeland safe and sound.
There has been no progress in repatriation of the Rohingyas as concerns over their safety and dignity in Myanmar have remained despite the signing of a deal, bdnews24.com reports.
“There is great dismay and concern among the Rohingyas that I watched myself,” Ban said.
“Myanmar government should do much more so that Rohingyas can return to their homeland without fear and persecution,” he said.
Ban, Hein and Georgieva planted some trees on the top of the hill where the Rohingyas have taken shelter.
Earlier in the day in the capital, Ban along with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the opening session of the commission’s Dhaka Meeting, where Hasina implored the international community to step up efforts to expedite the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.
Ban in Cox’s Bazar said: “It is not possible for Bangladesh to host such a large number of Rohingyas for long.”
“I sincerely hope that there will be harmonious solution to the problem,” he said.
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