The OIC delegation arrived in Dhaka on Saturday on a four-day visit
A delegation from the general secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday arrived in Bhashan Char of Noakhali and observed its facilities for Rohingyas, who were relocated to the island from the Cox's Bazar camps.
A five-member team of the OIC reached the island in the Bay of Bengal by helicopter around 12pm on Sunday, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Shah Rezwan Hayat told Dhaka Tribune.
The visit comes at a time when the government of Bangladesh is continuing its efforts to relocate some 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char from the congested Cox's Bazar camps to provide them with a better living place.
In four phases, more than 9,500 Rohingyas have so far been relocated to the island, developed by the Bangladesh Navy at a cost of Tk3,100 crore.
An official concerned told Dhaka Tribune that the OIC delegation flew to Bhashan Char from Dhaka and officials at the different ministries accompanied them on the island.
Later in the day, the OIC delegation team, led by the Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Political Affairs Dr Yousef Aldobeay, went to Cox's Bazar to visit the refugee camps there.
They took part in a meeting with 76 Rohingya community leaders held at Ukhiya Rohingya Camp No 4 at around 3:30pm.
Dr Yousef Aldobeay, while talking to the media after the meeting, said that the OIC stands beside Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue.
He said: “OIC has always been on Bangladesh’s side regarding the Rohingya issue. It wants Rohingyas to return to Myanmar with dignity and respect and for that is working to reach an international consensus.”
“OIC is also providing support to the legal battle against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to ensure that Rohingyas get justice,” the OIC ASG furthered.
The OIC delegation was also scheduled to meet with the RRRC.
They arrived in Dhaka on Saturday on a four-day visit to take stock of the conditions of the Rohingya refugees.
During the visit, the delegation will hold a series of consultations with Bangladeshi officials on ways and means to support bilateral cooperation and coordinate on the issue of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, according to the OIC.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district.
Most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, amid a military crackdown on Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and other rights groups dubbed as "genocide."
Bangladesh has called on Myanmar to move forward with the stalled process of voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees, as international pressure mounts on the military leaders following a coup, which reduces the refugees' hopes of returning home.
Additional reporting by Abdul Aziz from Cox’s Bazar