Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the U.N. Security Council yesterday to press Myanmar to take back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled a military crackdown to take refuge in her country. Security Council envoys visited Hasina in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, before travelling to Myanmar for meetings with its government leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing. "They should put more pressure on the Myanmar government so that they take their citizens back to their country. That's what we want," Hasina told reporters.
The visit by the Security Council envoys, to see the aftermath of a military operation in Myanmar's western Rakhine State, puts a global spotlight on the crisis which the United Nations and others have denounced as ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar denies the accusation, saying the military was engaged in a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.
Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts in Rakhine State in August last year sparked the crackdown that, according to the U.N. and rights groups, sent nearly 700,000 Rohingya fleeing to camps in neighboring Bangladesh.
Hasina said the refugees should return "under U.N. supervision where security and safety should be ensured." "They want to go back to their own country. So the Security Council can play a very pivotal role,"she added.
When asked if U.N. supervision meant the deployment of peacekeepers, Hasina said: "Not exactly, well, that the U.N. will decide."