02:27 GMT23 February 2020
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    With the ongoing Rohingya crisis in Myanmar showing no signs of being resolved, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has criticised the living conditions in the refugee camps in Bangladesh.

    Could there finally be some action taken by the UN to protect the Rohingya? Sputnik spoke with Thomas McManus, research fellow in international law at Queen Mary University London for more insight on the issue.

    Sputnik: Has the UN done enough so far to help alleviate the situation?

    Thomas McManus: The Rohingya are facing the problem of not being able to go back home, they don’t feel that they’d be safe if they returned at the moment.

    The Myanmar government have denied them even the usage of the name Rohingya and have led a genocidal campaign that has basically driven the entire population from Rakhine state.

    They are stuck in these huge camp complexes in Bangladesh, who don’t recognise them as refugees as they are not able to work, so they simply can’t survive much longer in these conditions. I honestly don’t know where it could go from here.

    The UN are trying to negotiate between Myanmar and Bangladesh, but I feel we need some intervention from the UN Security Council in order to find a solution.

    Sputnik: Do you feel that the west has been hypocritical in backing Myanmar’s government?

    Thomas McManus: The west saw Myanmar opening up to the world and were blinded by optimism that was misplaced. They dropped sanctions very early and placed all their faith in Suu Kyi, who had a good reputation at the time and had stood up to the country’s military.

    She was given the benefit of the doubt, which continued for way too long and she has actively denied the genocide and protected the military from international criticism.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Thomas McManus and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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