• Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Government not sure when Rohingyas will be relocated to Bhashan Char

  • Published at 12:30 pm March 27th, 2019
Web_Bhashan Char
File Photo: The photo, collected from project official Atikul Islam’s Facebook page, shows houses built under a project to accommodate Rohingya refugees in Bhashan Char, Noakhali, Bangladesh Collected

The refugees will not be sent to the island if they don’t want to go, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has reiterated

The government is not sure as to when the Rohingya refugees will be relocated to Bhashan Char, the island in Noakhali district where a new camp has been set up to accommodate some of the Rohingyas currently living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. 

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, speaking to reporters at the ministry after an event on Wednesday, said: “I do not know when it will be possible to send the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char. We initially planned to send them in April.” 

The government had plans to relocate around 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char by April 15. 

“We were prepared to send the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char [within the pre-decided time frame]. But the United Nations and many other [humanitarian] organizations have expressed concerns that doing so at the moment will not be in their [the Rohingyas’] best interest,” the foreign minister said. 

“If everyone finds that doing so will be inconvenient for the Rohingyas, then the government will not send them. However, the houses [in Bhashan Char] are ready for their relocation, should they want to go voluntarily,” the minister added. 

Also Read - UN conditionally welcomes Rohingya relocation to Bhashan Char

The government undertook the housing project, worth an estimated Tk2,312 crore and   implemented by the Bangladesh Navy, last year on Bhashan Char – previously known as Thengar Char. 

The plan was to move 103,200 Rohingyas to the island – which emerged around 20 years ago in an estuary of the Meghna River, around 21 nautical miles from mainland Noakhali.

The Bangladesh government has assured a comfortable living on the island for the relocated Rohingyas, who will be transferred from the cramped refugee camps spread out in the southeastern coastal district of Cox’s Bazar. 

However, the government has also maintained that no Rohingya will be forced to move to Bhashan Char, and any relocation will be voluntary.

Also Read - What do Rohingyas think about Bhashan Char?

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas, more than 700,000 of whom have entered Cox’s Bazar from Myanmar since August 25, 2017 after crossing the border to flee a brutal military persecution in their homeland in the country's Rakhine state, following an insurgent attack on Myanmar’s Border Guard Police personnel. 

After months of concern over the plausibility of the relocation plan, the UN finally welcomed Bangladesh’s decision, albeit with a set of conditions. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the Dhaka office of the UN said they appreciated the Bangladesh government’s efforts to seek alternative locations for the Rohingya refugees to settle, which could help to decongest the overcrowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Also Read - Inside the Bhashan Char plan for Rohingyas

The statement further said the UN’s position was to engage constructively with the Bangladesh government on Bhashan Char. “We are discussing with the government the critical protection and operational issues that should be considered before any relocations take place, in order to ensure that refugees would be able to live in safe and sustainable living conditions on Bhasan Char,” it added.

UN said before the relocation takes place, it must be ensured that: a) Rohingyas move to the island voluntarily; b) they are completely aware of the relevant, accurate and timely information on the project; c) information about the living conditions, basic rights and services are clarified for the refugees; and d) there are proper facilities to set up a humanitarian response on the island.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail