Myanmar mortal shelling ‘unintentional mistake’, Momen says in New York

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has termed Myanmar’s recent shelling of mortars and repeated gunfire inside Bangladesh as “unintentional mistake”.

He said this while addressing a press conference at Hotel Lotte here on the programmes of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the 77th UNGA session on Tuesday, reports UNB.

The foreign minister said the Myanmar authority informed Dhaka that they are not shelling inside Bangladesh targeting the neighbouring country.

“That particular border area is very much crisscrossed. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the border, for that reason they are not shelling inside our border intentionally. One and two shells that dropped inside our border happened by mistake,” he said.

He also said Bangladesh Foreign Ministry summoned Myanmar ambassador and the Myanmar authority promised to us that they will maintain caution,” he said.

Momen said Bangladesh has sealed the entire border with Myanmar and it will not allow any new Rohingya to enter Bangladesh.

“We are in a very strong position right now. We have sealed our border so that no new Rohingya could enter Bangladesh,” he said.

Already, about 1.2 million Rohingyas have fled their homeland and taken shelter in Bangladesh in 2017 after Myanmar’s military unleashed a crackdown on the ethnic Muslims.

He also mentioned that meanwhile some new Rohingyas went to bordering China as they did not dare to come to Bangladesh side.

He hoped that the displaced Rohingyas, who are staying in Bangladesh, would return to their homeland.

The foreign minister said PM Hasina has reiterated her call to the international community and the United Nations to play a more active role on the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their motherland Myanmar and solve the crisis.

She made this call when UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi paid a courtesy call on her here.

Sheikh Hasina also called for enhancing UNHCR’s activities in Myanmar for solving the Rohingya issue.

In response, Grandi said he would visit Myanmar soon, said Momen.

The prime minister again said that the Rohingya crisis can only be resolved by repatriating the Rohingyas to Myanmar.

The UNHCR High Commissioner also agreed with her on this matter.

During that meeting, they discussed in details about the present activities of UNHCR to help the Rohingyas who took shelter in Cox’s Bazar and Bhashanchar in Bangladesh.

Later, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim A A Khan QC also called on PM Sheikh Hasina.

They discussed various aspects of cooperation between Bangladesh and the ICC.

The premier has assured the ICC Prosecutor that Bangladesh will continue to cooperate with all ongoing efforts at the ICC to ensure justice and accountability for the Rohingya victims of torture in Myanmar.

Karim Khan has expressed interest in visiting Bangladesh again early next year.

Executive Director of the UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif paid a courtesy call on the prime minister.

In this meeting, the steps for sustainable urbanisation taken by the Bangladesh government and areas of future cooperation were discussed.

In this connection, the prime minister informed him about the success of the Ashrayan Project undertaken by her government to provide homes to the landless and homeless people of Bangladesh.

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