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Bernicat lauds Bangladesh over handling of Rohingya issue

US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat

By Jebun Nesa Alo
November 29, 2016

US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat has praised Bangladesh for “skillfully handling” the Rohingya issue and said Washington is closely monitoring the situation.

“I truly admire Bangladesh government for providing support and home to some Rohingyas that are here,” she said at a meeting with Diplomatic Correspondents Association Bangladesh in Dhaka on Monday.

“Bangladesh government has very patiently and skillfully been working on the Rohingya issue with the government of Burma,” she said.

Rohingya activists say more than 100 Rohingyas have been killed since Myanmar began its anti-insurgency operations in the Rakhine state in early October after attacks on border outposts that killed several policemen.

The latest crackdown has rendered an estimated 30,000 Rohingyas homeless.

Bernicat said: “We have been putting pressure on Burma both before and after the election to respect all the people living in the country including Rohingyas.”

The army denies burning down Rohingya villages, torturing, raping and killing the Rohingyas.

Ambassador Bernicat condemned the latest attacks, saying Washington had called for “formal transparent investigation” into the situation.

The Rohingyas, who number about one million in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, are not recognised by the government as citizens. A UN official has accused Myanmar of “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingyas.

“No one has had access to the conflict area for some time and the UN had called on Myanmar to allow international aid agencies to that distressed state,” Bernicat said.

Hundreds of Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since October to escape persecution despite tight security measures by the BGB and Coast Guard. Dhaka refuses to open its border and has urged the international community to help it deal with the crisis.

Bernicat said the US was “closely monitoring the situation in Bangladesh.

“We have provided assistance to the Rohingya community living in Bangladesh and will continue to do so.”

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