Ambassador Mustafizur said Rohingyas were relocated to Bhashan Char volunatarily
Bangladesh has conveyed to the UN refugee agency that the international community has no reason to worry about relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations (UN) offices and other international organizations in Geneva Ambassador Md Mustafizur Rahman shared the logical points behind such voluntary relocation during a virtual meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi on Wednesday.
Ambassador Mustafizur said no Rohingya could be repatriated over the last three years due to lack of political will from Myanmar despite Bangladesh’s sincere efforts to send back the Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
He said Rohingyas were relocated to Bhashan Char volunatarily and drew attention to Grandi about the reports both from the international and local media outlets about the relocation of the first batch of Rohingyas.
The Ambassador said the government as directed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave shelter to Rohingyas on humanitarian ground.
In the face of growing concerns over the extreme congestion in Cox’s Bazar camps and to avert any risk of death due to landslides and other unwarranted incidents, the government of Bangladesh has decided to relocate, in phases, 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.
Accordingly, in the first phase, more than 1,600 Rohingyas who expressed their willingness for relocation were shifted to Bhashan Char on December 4.
Bangladesh has urged all to exercise utmost caution not to undermine or misinterpret the genuine efforts of the government of Bangladesh noting that the voluntary relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char has become imperative to decongest the overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar.
"The Rohingyas are Myanmar nationals and they must return to Myanmar. The government of Bangladesh is doing its best for the safety and security of these temporarily sheltered Myanmar Nationals," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement.
Bangladesh has encouraged human rights groups to put their efforts in creating a conducive environment inside Myanmar for their quick, safe and dignified repatriation to their land of origin, Myanmar.
At this stage, it is only practical that the international community, including the United Nations, fulfils its responsibility and meaningfully engage with Myanmar to start repatriation, which is the only durable solution to this crisis, the statement reads.
The relocation has become imperative to decongest the overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar that have temporarily been accommodating nearly a million of Rohingyas with many more thousands born each year, said the MoFA statement.
It said the deteriorating security situation due to prolonged stay of these frustrated people in Cox’s Bazar also compelled the government of Bangladesh to come up with a contingency plan and develop Bhashan Char from its own budgetary allocation.