WORLD

Bangladesh PM urges speeding up Rohingya repatriation

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Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the world must urge Myanmar to create a conducive situation for Rohingya repatriation.

"Rohingya crisis is a formidable challenge for Bangladesh [..] we want a peaceful and immediate resolution of the crisis. Myanmar has created the crisis and the solution lies in Myanmar," she said, speaking at the think tank Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday.

She alleged Myanmar wanted to wipe out the Rohingya minority from its Rakhine State, state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha reported.

"The Rohingyas fled violence and atrocities and we opened our border to shelter them on humanitarian ground," she said, adding that her government has gone all-out to support the Muslim minority in Myanmar since August 2017 when they fled a crackdown by the Myanmar military.

"We also urge you all to visit the Rohingya camps at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. We believe, if you visit those camps, you will be shaken by their horrifying stories of atrocities at the hands of the Myanmar security forces and local vigilantes," she said.

"I believe seeing their plight would wring your heart and you would want to see the end of their painful predicament the soonest," she added.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community on Aug. 25, 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

Nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have since been killed, more than 34,000 were thrown into fires and over 114,000 others were beaten by Myanmar's state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar's army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

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