Bangladesh continuing efforts for durable solution to Rohingya crisis: FM
Published : 04 Feb 2018, 20:35:05
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday said Bangladesh is continuing its efforts for a "durable solution" to the protracted Rohingya crisis including repatriation of Rohingyas by maintaining friendship with Myanmar.
"The Rohingya problem that is continuing in the Myanmar's Rakhaine state for a long has been turned into a complicated long-term problem. Against this backdrop Bangladesh is continuing its efforts for a "durable solution" to the Rohingya crisis including repatriation of Rohingyas by maintaining friendship with Myanmar," he said in reply to starred question raised by treasury bench member AFM Bahauddin Nasim.
The foreign minister said the forcibly evicted Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh to escape the ongoing disparity and repression in Western Rakhine state of Myanmar.
"Over 10 lakh Rohingyas now exist in Bangladesh and of them 6,88,000 took shelter since August 25 in 2017," he said.
Ali said the presence of a huge number of Rohingya people has created a massive socioeconomic, environmental and security risk for Bangladesh.
He said Bangladesh is making strong bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts for repatriation of the Myanmar nationals who took shelter in Cox's Bazar.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh is continuing efforts to mount international pressure on Myanmar through multilateral diplomatic channel. "Simultaneously, we're continuing our strides to repatriate the Rohingyas through bilateral discussion peacefully," he said.
Ali said the Myanmar home minister and the minister for Myanmar State Counsellor Office visited Bangladesh in October 2017 to solve the problem. "On the other hand, I also paid a visit to Myanmar on Nov 22-23 last year," he said.
The foreign minister said he and the minister of Myanmar State Counsellor Office signed an "Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State" on Nov 23 to send back the Rohingyas. Under the arrangement, he said, a Joint Working Group (JWG) was formed on Dec 19 to start the repatriation process at the fastest possible time. Besides, the Terms of Reference (TOR) was inked for the JWG, Ali said.
The foreign minister said to implement the repatriation process at the field level, the two countries penned a "Physical Arrangement" on Jan 16 this year.
Ali said Bangladesh and the UNHCR have already signed an MoU for the family-based information of the Rohingyas. "The field-level preparation for commencing repatriation is underway," he said.-BSS