Bangladesh reiterates call for Rohingya resettlement in 3rd countries

Bangladesh reiterates call for Rohingya resettlement in 3rd countries

Foreign secretary meets UN, OIC officials in capital Dhaka

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Bangladesh's foreign secretary has reiterated the call to repatriate Rohingya refugees to third countries.

Masud Bin Momen made the call during a meeting on Thursday with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the capital Dhaka.

“Ensuring accountability for the atrocities committed against Rohingya, as well as repatriation of the Rohingyas to their ancestral homeland, Myanmar or third country resettlement -- are sustainable solutions to the Rohingya crisis,” he said, according to an official statement released after the meeting on Friday.

He also urged the OIC-UNHCR joint delegation to mobilize robust international support for ensuring a sustainable solution to the crisis and continue humanitarian assistance until repatriation is materialized.

The delegation visited Bangladesh from Aug. 6 - 11 to take stock of the situation of Rohingya.

Momen briefed the delegation about the Bhasan Char project, an island where Rohingya refugees are being accommodated. The project was undertaken by the Bangladeshi government at a cost of $350 million, but critics say the island is vulnerable to floods and cyclones making it unsafe to live.

OIC Assistant Secretary-General Tariq Ali Bakheet said: “Repatriation is the final solution to this crisis.”

Nearly 1.2 million Rohingya live in Bangladesh, the majority of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in August 2017.

​​​​​​​While most of them remain in overcrowded camps in the southern Cox's Bazar district, approximately 30,000 have been relocated to Bhasan Char islet since late 2020.

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