12, Mar 2018 | CJP Team
UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour recently travelled to Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar, which is hosting several hundred thousand Rohingya refugees who have steadily fled from Myanmar after a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in late August 2017. Following his visit, Gilmour said, “The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues. I don’t think we can draw any other conclusion from what I have seen and heard in Cox’s Bazar”. Gilmour and other UN staff interviewed Rohingya who had recently arrived in Bangladesh; the refugees recounted instances of murder, torture, rape, abductions, and force starvation. “The nature of the violence has changed from the frenzied blood-letting and mass rape of last year to a lower intensity campaign of terror and forced starvation that seems to be designed to drive the remaining Rohingya from their homes and into Bangladesh,” Gilmour explained. Myanmar has assented to the repatriation of refugees, having signed an agreement with Bangladesh. However, Gilmour objected, saying, “Safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions.” He highlighted the need for violence to cease in the Rakhine state, along with the need to hold those engaging in it accountable and to “create conditions” for the Rohingya’s safe repatriation.