• Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:16 am

Govt firm on Rohingya relocation to Bhashan Char

  • Published at 12:37 am March 7th, 2019
WEB_Rohingya_Syed Zakir Hossain
Bangladesh is currently sheltering over 1.2 million Rohingyas in a number of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

More than 1.1 million Rohingyas are currently living in a number of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar

The government appears to be firm in its decision to go ahead with the relocation of the Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar to Bhashan Char, an island in Noakhali that is being developed to make it habitable for the refugees.

On the other hand, the UN agencies working in Bangladesh have raised some technical issues, although they are “okay” with the idea.

A meeting in this regard was held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday, with the prime minister’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman in the chair.

Senior officials from different ministries and departments concerned, including Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, as well as representatives of the UN resident coordinator, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, International Organization for Migration and World Food Programme attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed the modalities of the process of the Rohingyas’ relocation to Bhashan Char, senior officials from different ministries, who attended it, told the Dhaka Tribune.

However, they said, when the relocation will begin is yet to be decided.

The officials also differed slightly in respect of the attitude of the UN in this regard.

“I do not think UN has any problem with our plan. They are on board,” said a Foreign Ministry official, adding: “Look, it is still under process. So we are yet to come to a point where we can mention any date [for the beginning of the relocation process].”

“They (UN) are positive. But, they have some issues related to the safety, security and livelihood [of the Rohingyas],” said a Disaster Management and Relief Ministry official.

“But the government is determined to go ahead with the plan,” said the official.

When asked about a possible timeframe in starting the relocation process, the official said: “It’s too early to say. There are many things to be done before we can talk about a timeframe.”

“It’s a big task and we are working on it. There is another meeting tomorrow (Thursday) about the relocation,” added the official.

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas in total in a number of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.

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