The United Nations’ (UN’s) special adviser on prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, yesterday said the international community did not speedily respond to curb the atrocities committed by the Myanmarese army on the Rohingyas.
“When we saw the atrocities being committed on Rohingyas, the international community did not respond promptly to prevent the acts of crimes and did not take action against Myanmar. Now we see the result. No one is in a better place,” he said.
Adama Dieng made the statement at a commemorative seminar on ’1971 Genocide in Bangladesh,’ organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies (BIISS), at its auditorium in the capital. Foreign secretary Shahidul Haque chaired the programme.
BIISS director-general Maj. Gen. AKM Abdur Rahman, director of the Centre for Genocide Studies, Justice and a member of the advisory board of the Liberation War Museum, Mofidul Haque, and chairman of the BIISS board of governors, ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, spoke on the occasion.
Saluting the generosity of the Bangladeshi people, Adama Dieng said, “I salute the generosity of the people of Bangladesh who welcomed such a large number of people. We should continue to keep pressure on the international community to put pressure on Myanmar to fulfil its commitment to take back the Rohingyas.”
He also said Myanmar has committed heinous crimes against humanity but no one has been held responsible and punished. “Myanmar has committed serious violations and no one was held responsible for those crimes and punished,” he emphasised.
About the genocide committed in Bangladesh in 1971, Adama Dieng said, “We remember the mass killings that took place in 1971. We recognise the pain and courage of those who survived.”
“Coming here for the third time is not a duty to this land but because of the concern my office has. The concern is for the situation of the Rohingya population who are suffering for so many years. We are calling on the international community to pay attention to the situation in Myanmar,” he added.
In reply to a query about giving international recognition by the UN to the genocide in Bangladesh, he said, “My presence here is not providing legal recognition to what happened in 1971. It is not my mandate. My mandate is looking forward to prevent genocide. Bangladesh can continue its promotion
across the world to get the recognition.” He also highlighted the examples of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showing humanity to Rohingya people.
“Three world women leaders have shown courage to show humanity to the distressed people. They are New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the German chancellor Angela Merkel and Bangladesh’s Prime Minister despite knowing that they would suffer,” he added.
Mofidul Haque said Bangladesh faced a lot of pressure both at home and abroad not to try the war criminals who committed crimes against humanity but finally it has been made possible by the current government. So far, 35 cases of the war crimes have been completed, he added. He said the memorialisation of the genocide committed in 1971 is necessary as it will ensure the prevention of genocide in future.