No Rohingya will be allowed in, says foreign minister
Two boats carrying around 500 Rohingyas have been trying to reach the shores of Bangladesh from international waters since Monday, multiple sources told Dhaka Tribune.
But the Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Coast Guard are not allowing them to enter Bangladeshi waters from international waters, they said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told this correspondent on Wednesday that the Rohingyas at sea will not be allowed into the country.
The exact number and other details of the Rohingyas in the boats could not be ascertained.
However, according to two sources, the boats are carrying about 500 Rohingyas.
It is also not clear where they came from.
A government official said that the Rohingyas on board have fled the ongoing fighting between Myanmar military and rebel groups in Rakhine, while another official said the boats are trying to get into Bangladesh after failing to reach Malaysia.
The sources also said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and some diplomatic missions in Dhaka have requested the government to let the Rohingyas in.
But the government has not yet responded, they said.
Contacted, Foreign Minister Dr Momen said: “Two boats carrying Rohingyas are trying to get into our waters. We are not sure where they came from. They could either be coming from Rakhine where fighting between the Myanmar military and rebel groups is taking place, or from somewhere else.”
“Our navy and coast guard are on alert and they have been instructed not to allow these boats to enter Bangladesh. And they are doing so,” he said.
“No more Rohingya will be allowed in,” added the foreign minister.