PEACEKEEPING MISSION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BANGLADESH’S POLITICAL UNREST: UN
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
The UN has refused to link Bangladesh’s current political unrest with its participation in the peacekeeping mission in a virtual rebuff to BNP’s call to exclude country’s law enforcing agencies from the global peace initiative.
“Well, the political process is separate and apart from the issue of peacekeepers in UN missions, who are under the control ultimately of the mission,” Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said.
The deputy spokesman was replying to a question posed at the Feb 5 regular briefing at the UN headquarters, transcript of which was posted in its website later.
The questioner had asked: “With senior military officials making statements about what they’ll do to civilians, what’s the impact on Bangladesh as a peacekeeping contributing country?”
Bangladesh sends one of the highest numbers of peacekeepers in the UN missions.
BNP leaders had earlier questioned the role of some officials of the law enforcing agencies for prescribing tough measures to deal with the ongoing non-stop blockades enforced by the party.
At least 60 people have been killed within a span of a month in the recent spate of violence.
The government has deployed border guards, BGB, in different parts of Bangladesh to contain the violence.
BGB chief, who is deputed from the armed forces, said they would use lethal weapon if they came under attack during their patrolling or if they found someone throwing petrol bombs.
Chiefs of the Police and elite force, RAB too sounded similar warnings.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who has repeatedly denied her party’s involvement in such attacks, had said, “I demand foreign nations refuse providing training to RAB and this police.”
BNP also alleged that some officials had violated human rights as well as law of the land.
The party termed this blockade as people’s movement ‘against an illegal government.’
They called the current government illegal as it came to power through a general election that the party boycotted.
The questioner also claimed: “In Bangladesh, the… things seem to be getting worse. Former Prime Minister has been charged with arson and… which she says she doesn’t do.
“The power’s been turned off to the opposition party and basically the authorities are using violence on protestors”.
In response, the deputy spokesman, referring to the earlier UN statement, said “we’ve made our concerns known”.
The spokesman also said that they would continue their efforts to make two bickering political parties–ruling Awami League and BNP – to resolve their differences through engagements.
“As you know, officials, including the senior officials from our Department for Political Affairs, have repeatedly visited Bangladesh, trying to meet with the leaders there and make sure that the crisis can be resolved peacefully.
“As you know, we continue to have our concerns that that hasn’t happened and that there has been violence.
“We have continually encouraged and continue to encourage the authorities to allow for peaceful protest and for the right to peaceful assembly.
“And beyond that, we’ll continue to be in touch with the leaders of the two main parties, trying to make sure that they can resolve their differences,” said the spokesman.
The UN before the 10th parliamentary elections last year on Jan 5 tried to mediate talks between the two parties, but failed to resolve the dispute on the nature of the poll-time dispensation.
FEBRUARY 07, 2015