Bangladesh’s PM at UN urges ‘safe zones’ for Muslims in Rakhine


Bangladesh’s PM Sheikh Hasina at UN urges ‘safe zones’ for Muslims in Rakhine

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina speaks during the General Debate of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 21 September 2017. Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA

Bangladesh's prime minister on Thursday proposed creating UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing a military crackdown to seek refuge in her country.

"These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the UN General Assembly.

The United Nations says more than 420,000 Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh.

The military operation was sparked by attacks carried out by Rohingya terrorists on police posts on August 25.

The prime minister laid out a five-point plan that called for the protection of the Rohingyas in "safe zones that could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision."

There has been mounting international outrage over the plight of the Rohingya, prompting the UN Security Council this month to call for an end to the violence.

The creation of such "safe areas" would require the approval of the Security Council where China, a strong supporter of Myanmar's former junta, has veto power.

The recent exodus of Rohingya has brought the number of refugees from Rakhine living in Bangladesh to over 800,000, said the prime minister.

© AFP

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