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Bangladesh - January 25, 2022

Dhaka expects no impact on joining UN peace missions

Diplomatic Correspondent : Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterdayhoped that there will be no impact on Bangladeshis’ joining peacekeeping missions as the United Nations (UN) takes peacekeepers with much scrutiny.
“Their (UN) spokesperson said the UN always takes people with scrutiny. They’ve long been taking (Bangladeshis),” he told reporters while responding to a question regarding the letter sent by 12 human rights organisations to UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. In the letter dated November 8, the organisations said the United Nations Department of Peace Operations should ban the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from UN deployment.
After attending another function in the city, Dr Momen said when the UN takes peacekeepers, they take them after scrutiny. So, we aren’t worried that much about this.”

Earlier, Dr Momen, President of Bangabandhu Foundation, paid homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of the 21st founding anniversary of the Foundation.

He along with Foundation leaders paid homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by laying a wreath at his portrait in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in the city.

After paying homage to Bangabandhu, the Foreign Minister administered the oath to the leaders of the Foundation.

Dr Momen said various organisations at home, their friends abroad and their lobbyists have long been spreading propaganda against Bangladesh and based on that propaganda the 12 international human rights bodies wrote a letter to the UN in November last year.

“UN received the letter. They acknowledged that they received the letter,” said the Foreign Minister, adding that the UN did not do anything based on the letter.

He said an international organisation does not necessarily always be a good organisation, and one of the organisations which talked against RAB once said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

“Based on that, the US really thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rest is known to you,” Dr Momen said.

He said not a single weapon of mass destruction was found in Iraq. “I would like to tell the US government to recall the past how a big international human rights organisation misguided them.”

For this, the Foreign Minister said, the US Secretary of State Colin Powell had to say, “I’m sorry. That’s an unfortunate position for them.”

Dr Momen said everyone in the country knows RAB has been working in a very efficient way with honesty and they earned wider acceptability.

He, however, said the government will take action if there is any deviation of the law and there has already been punishment in a few cases. “You know the incident of Narayanganj.”

Dr Momen said the most unfortunate thing is that in many cases the US taught how RAB will take action. “If there’s any problem in their rules of engagement, then we’ll tell the US, you give them (RAB) fresh training so that no deviation takes place,” he said.

Dr Momen said there might be many parties in the country with various opinions within a party and one particular party may not like the policy of another party.

But it is very unfortunate if someone gets engaged in harming the reputation of their own country, he said, adding that some of the organisations keep doing it and spending money behind the foreigners seeking suspension of all kinds of support to Bangladesh.

The Foreign Minister said these may be the result of their commitment to the country and lack of sincerity. “We hope they’ll refrain from these misdeeds.”

Dr Momen said the government will share accurate information against the propaganda.

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