Bengali Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the Kutupalong refugee camp on September 12. She met with Rohingya refugees and hosted a rally to show her support for those who fled to Bangladesh.
During the rally, Prime Minister Hasina demanded that Myanmar, the country from which the Rohingya refugees originated, “take steps to take their nationals back.” In addition to this demand, however, Hasina declared that Bangladesh would continue to provide temporary aid to the displaced Rohingya until Myanmar accepts them back.
The Kutupalong refugee camp is located on the border of Myanmar and the Bangladeshi town of Ukhiya Upazila. The root of the conflict between the two groups lies in religious differences between the two countries: Bangladesh is a majority
Muslim state, while Myanmar is a majority Buddhist state. The Rohingya are predominantly Muslim, and the Myanmar state has denied and continues to deny them citizenship.
Since July, over 300,000 Rohingya have fled their homes in Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh. The Myanmar military claims to be fighting rebel groups in the Rakhine state, but numerous sources claim that the army is targeting civilians on a massive scale, razing entire villages and practicing collective punishment for any rebel attacks.
“We will not tolerate injustice,” emphasized Prime Minister Hasina, who has expressed harsh words for the Myanmar military and state in the past. Just one day earlier, on September 11, she denounced the atrocities committed by the Myanmar military against civilian populations, stating that she had “no words to condemn Myanmar” for these crimes.