Bangladesh expects the International Community, in particular UNHCR, to enhance their activities in Rakhine in creating an environment conducive to the sustainable repatriation of the persecuted Rohingya to Rakhine, Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen has said.
He made this remark on Wednesday during the call on by visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Under-Secretary General Filippo Grandi.
He added that proactive engagement of the international community in confidence building among the Rohingya people is crucial for sustainable repatriation.
He thanked UNHCR for its continued engagement in the humanitarian operations for the forcibly displaced Rohingyas.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister highlighted the introduction of informal education for the Rohingya children under Myanmar Curriculum in Myanmar Language, skill development activities, livelihood opportunities, and health facilities both in Cox’s Bazar and in Bhasan Char.
He expressed hope that these initiatives would facilitate their reintegration in Myanmar society upon return.
Foreign Minister Momen urged the UNHCR High Commissioner to engage with Myanmar with the view to create a conducive environment in the Rakhine State for early repatriation. The High Commissioner informed that his organization is making efforts in this regard and assured that he will further pursue this.
He underscored that the UNHCR is on the same page with Bangladesh concerning voluntary and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister expressed concern over the presence of a huge number of persecuted and displaced Rohingyas, which might have multifaceted ramifications on the entire region.
He mentioned that Rohingya, over time, are getting frustrated due to uncertainty over the repatriation and thus are increasingly engaged in criminal activities like drug and human trafficking.
Also the prolonged stay of the displaced population is creating tensions among the local population, he added, underscoring the need for undertaking projects for the wellbeing of local population.
The High Commissioner lauded Bangladesh for temporarily sheltering and generously providing for such a huge number of displaced Rohingyas.
While sharing his experience of the visits to Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Camp and Bhasan Char, he mentioned the ardent aspirations of all the Rohingyas he met to return to Myanmar at the earliest.
He assured to extend all sorts of support to Bangladesh in ensuring sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya to Rakhine. He also informed that the UNHCR and other international agencies are undertaking a number of projects for the benefit of the local population in Cox’s Bazar.
While highlighting various aspects of Bhasan Char, Foreign Minister emphasised the full engagement of UN systems in Bhasan Char to provide humanitarian assistance for all the relocated Rohingyas on the island.
High Commissioner Grandi reiterated the need to continue providing necessary support to the government of Bangladesh for Bhasan Char.
He underscored that ensuring sustainability of the Bhasan Char project is important and all should work together on this.
High Commissioner Grandi arrived in Bangladesh on 21 May. He travelled to Cox’s Bazar from 21 May to 23 May and visited Bhasan Char on 24 May. He departed for Geneva on Wednesday. This is his fifth visit to Bangladesh.