• Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:12 am

Rohingyas at sea: Other countries should share burden

  • Published at 08:45 pm April 29th, 2020
Malaysia Rohingya
File photo: A boat carrying suspected ethnic Rohingya migrants is seen detained in Malaysian territorial waters on April 5, 2020 Reuters

Foreign minister says in reply to UN HR chief’s request to let in boats carrying Rohingyas

Bangladesh has done more than enough for the Rohingyas and it is time now for other countries to share the burden, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said in reply to a letter from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

Bachelet, who is a former president of Chile, wrote a letter dated April 24 to Dr Momen requesting that Bangladeshi ports allow two boats carrying around 500 Rohingyas to come in.

“Yes, I sent the reply to the letter of the high commissioner on Monday,” Foreign Minister Dr Momen told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday night.

About the contents of his letter, he said: “We are not in a situation to do more with respect to the Rohingyas. Despite having resource constraints and being densely-populated, we have done more than any other country as regards to the Rohingyas.”  

“I let her know that other coastal countries also have a responsibility with regard to the two boats carrying Rohingyas now at sea. Those countries should be asked to take responsibility,” Dr Momen said.

“Reminding her that we are already hosting 1.1 million Rohingyas, I said that the United Nations should also ask other countries to share our burden,” he said,

The UN and the international community must exert more pressure on Myanmar to take back its citizens, he added.

“The UN and the international community are not doing enough to compel Myanmar to repatriate their people,” said the foreign minister.

Referring to the ongoing conflict in Rakhine state, where the Myanmar military is reportedly using air power, he expressed this concern that many Rohingyas might try to flee to Bangladesh.

There are already many Rohingyas along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, he said.

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