Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Australia firmly with Bangladesh to find a solution to Rohingya crisis: Envoy

Australia firmly with Bangladesh to find a solution to Rohingya crisis: Envoy

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Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer on Thursday said his country remains strongly committed to finding a solution to the Rohingya crisis and help Bangladesh manage the situation.

“We remain strongly committed,” he said, adding that Australia will continue to help Bangladesh and the host community.

The Australian High Commissioner was addressing at “DCAB Talk” organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) virtually.

DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the event.

The High Commissioner said the Rohingya issue is a massive humanitarian crisis, and Australia will continue to help Bangladesh’s efforts towards a solution.

Highlighting Australia’s commitment in humanitarian and disaster response, he said Australia has provided over $270 million in humanitarian assistance to Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar since 2017.

“We provided $79.7 million last year [2020-21], including $10 million in emergency assistance following the recent fire in the camps,” said the envoy.

High Commissioner Bruer highlighted the growing relationship between Australia and Bangladesh and hoped that it will be strengthened further as the two countries are set to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations next year.

On Wednesday, Bangladesh and Australia signed Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement or TIFA to open more opportunities between the two countries.

Bangladesh continues to bear the burden of over 1.1 million Rohingyas as there has been no repatriation over the last four years amid “lack of any initiative” from the Myanmar side with “inadequate steps” by the international community, officials in Dhaka said.

The last exodus began on 25 August 2017, when violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, forcing thousands of Rohingyas to seek shelter in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh had handed over a list of 840,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar for verification but the verification process by the Myanmar side was very slow, Dhaka says.

The repatriation attempt failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas' lack of trust in the Myanmar government.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.

On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.