Bangladesh's Hasina seeks establishment of safe zones for Rohingya


Published: 2017-09-22 13:05

Last Updated: 2017-09-22 14:13

A Rohingya Muslim boy pleads with aid workers to give him a bag of rice. (Photo Credit: AP)
A Rohingya Muslim boy pleads with aid workers to give him a bag of rice. (Photo Credit: AP)
Roya News Source

During speeches made by world leaders addressing the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina condemned Myanmar's 'ethnic cleansing' of the Rohingya,  urging the country to take back its "hungry, distressed and hopeless" refugees.

In her speech, Sheikh Hasina stated that Bangladesh was sheltering more than 800,000 Rohingya people, more than half of which arrived in the past three weeks. 

"We are horrified to see that the Myanmar authorities are laying landmines along their stretch of the border to prevent the Rohingya from returning to Myanmar," she stated. "These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity."

Hasina also called for establishing "safe zones" in Myanmar's Rakhine state, created under UN supervision. The suggestion implies allowing the UN to administer certain regions of the state, where the majority of the Rohingya population live, to prevent continued targeting from the Burmese military. 

Earlier this week, head of the UN Fact-Finding Mission Marzuki Darusman, stated the agency is seeking access to Myanmar to investigate the allegations of mass killings and torture.

According to UN estimates, 60% of those seekingr refuge in Bangladesh were children, with 1,400 of them crossing the borders without their parents. 

UNICEF is establishing "Child Friendly Spaces" in Bangladesh's refugee camps, as children are packed in uninhabitable spaces and suffer from food insecurity.