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Dhaka Tribune

Rohingya Repatriation: FM urges UN, other partners to take coordinated steps

  • Rohingyas getting employment in different places out of camps 
  • Camps become heaven for various crimes including human trafficking, drug smuggling

 

Update : 01 Jun 2024, 07:54 PM

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud has urged the United Nations organizations and other partners to take coordinated action for the repatriation of about 1.3 million Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds to their homeland Myanmar.

He also sought effective step to resolve the ongoing conflict in the Rakhine state and for the betterment of the Rohingya population.

The foreign minister, who is now in the United States on a three-day official visit, made the call during his four separate meetings with the president of the General Assembly, the Special Envoy of the secretary-general on Myanmar, the United Nations high commissioner for Refugees and the heads of six United Nations development organizations at the United Nations headquarters on Friday (afternoon local time) in New York.

Hasan told United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis that in 2017, when about one million people fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar, the people of Cox's Bazar and Chittagong received them with compassion.

"But gradually the Rohingyas are getting employment in different places out of the camps and the camps have become a heaven for various crimes including human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism. As a result, the locals are passing a very difficult time," he added.

During his meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Hasan said apart from the Rohingyas, since last February, about 750 members of the Myanmar Border Guard Police and Army have fled to Bangladesh at various times.

Most of them have been sent back, and the rest are in the process of being returned.

"Not only that, the shells of the conflicting groups in Myanmar have also caused casualties in Bangladesh. It is absolutely necessary to prevent the recurrence of these," Hasan said.

In a meeting with the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Myanmar, the former Foreign Minister of Australia, Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister Hasan said that the ongoing conflict situation in Myanmar is not a new phenomenon and it should not be given an opportunity to be used as an excuse against Rohingya repatriation.

Earlier, the foreign minister addressed a program titled "Crisis, Conflicts and Inter-Agency Collaboration: Nexus Approach" at the UN headquarters.

Six United Nations Organizations - UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, head of UN Women and deputy head of Unicef and WFP participated in it.

Minister Hasan highlighted the benefits of nexus or joint initiatives by UN agencies, particularly in conflict-affected regions of the world.

He spoke about the situation in Rakhine and Cox's Bazar and called on all UN agencies, funds and programs to work together to resolve the refugee crisis and improve the Rohingya population.

Ambassador Muhammad A Muhith, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, other members of the Ministry and the Mission accompanied the Foreign Minister in the meetings.

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