Millennium Post

UN chief seeks ‘de-escalation’ of Bangladesh unrest

UN chief seeks ‘de-escalation’ of Bangladesh unrest
“The Secretary-General encouraged the government of Bangladesh to seek concrete ways to de-escalate the situation and to engage constructively the opposition, for the long-term stability and development of the country,” read a UN statement after Bangladesh’s foreign minister A H Mahmood Ali met Ban on the sidelines of a White House Summit on ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ in Washington.

The statement said Ban also expressed his concern “regarding the loss of lives and political violence that have occurred in Bangladesh since the beginning of 2015”.

But he said the government had a “responsibility” to protect people in general from violence, and that all political parties should exercise their political rights to uphold established democratic norms and principles.

Talking to Ali also in Washington, Kerry meanwhile criticised the attacks on people even as ex-premier Khaleda Zia’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has waged a fierce street campaign against her arch rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League government.

The portal quoting a US State Department official in Washington reported that Kerry said there could be “no tolerance” for tactics that target innocent citizens or “inhibit political expression” in a democratic Bangladesh.

The foreign ministry in Dhaka said Ali told the UN chief that the government remained “committed to ensuring the human rights and security of innocent civilians who are being targeted by terrorist acts and remained open to account for the lawful measures taken to this effect”.

But the foreign minister “regretted that the BNP leadership persistently rebuffed the government’s overtures, and instead chose the path of violence and terrorist methods at the expense of innocent lives”.

A European Union delegation yesterday also issued a statement urging an immediate end to the growing violence in and peaceful settlement of conflicts as they wrapped up a five-day visit to Bangladesh.


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