Statement of M. Tareq Md. Ariful Islam, DPR at the General discussion with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, Mr. Marzuki DARUSMAN, 22 October 2019, UNHQs, New York
Bangladesh delegation thanks the FFM for its diligent work following international best practices and standard in human rights fact-finding, and in gathering evidence.
The FFM in its initial report last year found evidence of “gross human rights violations and abuses” suffered by Rohingya which it said “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law”.
This year’s report includes much new information about human rights abuses on the Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar putting further focus on Tatmadaw . It also highlighted the lack of people’s freedom of movement, humanitarian access resulting in the “deplorable” living conditions of an estimated 600,000 Rohingya still inside Myanmar and their continued persecution which has become a way of life in Rakhine State. These facts underscore the difficulty and complexity posed for the return for the more than one million Rohingyas, mostly in Bangladesh. It also brought to the fore Tatmadaw’s economic interest in the region and engagement with foreign and domestic businesses.
Now we expect that the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) would take charge with the appointment of Nicholas Koumjian as its the Head this July. The time remaining for IIMM will be much less in the remaining part of this year. We, however, believe given some more time, resource and cooperation through their work, they would be able to facilitate fair and independent criminal proceedings as per their mandate.
Against a background of domestic impunity and the inordinate delay of the ICOE to submit its report, the FFM report concludes that “accountability can only be advanced by the international community”.
Our security forces maintain strict vigil in the camps of Cox’s Bazar as per our “zero tolerance” policy against terrorist and violent extremist. There is no ARSA element in camps in Cox’s Bazar. This should not be used as a pretext to divert attention.
As our delegation stated before, the question of accountability is essential not only for genuine confidence building but also towards reconciliation among all the communities/parties. The Rohingya crisis is indeed complex with long historical connotations. But that cannot be a pretext for steering away from addressing its root causes.
I thank you.