The Rohingya are not going home to Myanmar. Can Bangladesh cope?

GY66TXSLHAI6TE6QMTN46OF2IE (1)Source: The Washington Post

March 20

Azeem Ibrahim is a director at the Center for Global Policy and author of “Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Genocide.”

Bangladesh is once again calling for the establishment of “safe zones” for the Rohingya in Myanmar so that it can begin resettling some of the 1 million or so refugees in its care around the district of Cox’s Bazar . This is not the first time the government in Dhaka has pushed for this. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pressed Myanmar on the issue before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017.

Now, Bangladesh’s new foreign minister, Abulkalam Abdul Momen has started lobbying Russia, China and India, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to try to use their influence to persuade Myanmar to establish safe zones within its territory.

This effort is pointless and ill- advised. Myanmar has no interest in establishing safe zones, and China and Russia have already prevented any such appeals from getting through the U.N. Security Council. Yet these efforts by Bangladesh bode ill nonetheless.

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