Thursday, 29 September, 2022

FM reiterates Dhaka’s call for repatriation of Rohingyas

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday reiterated Dhaka’s call for smooth repatriation of the Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State ending their plights and miseries.

Apart from seeking international community’s support, he said Bangladesh is also talking to Myanmar on good faith as Myanmar has expressed its willingness for repatriation of the Rohingyas.

The foreign minister also sought genuine efforts to create an environment conducive to repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled “Rohingya Crisis: The Pathways to Repatriation” at the Foreign Service Academy organized by the Centre for Genocide Studies (CGS), University of Dhaka.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen delivered the opening remarks while Director, Centre for Genocide Studies Professor Imtiaz Ahmed presented keynote paper.

Earlier, United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer said it is critical that the international community continues to seek comprehensive, durable and inclusive solutions to the Rohingya crisis.

“We cannot let this become a forgotten crisis,” said Special Envoy Heyzer in a statement who also attended the seminar.

On the five-year mark of the forced mass displacement of Rohingya from Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Bangladesh continues to show “great generosity and leadership” in hosting refugees, which requires renewed international attention and equitable burden-sharing by countries in the region and beyond, she said on Thursday.

In their productive discussions, the Special Envoy thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership and expressed the United Nations’ deep appreciation to the people and government of Bangladesh for their immense contribution.

“I will continue to advocate for greater leadership of countries in the region in supporting Bangladesh and leveraging their influence with Myanmar to create conducive conditions for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of refugees,” she said.

She also highlighted Bangladesh’s pivotal role in working with the ASEAN.

“The generosity of Bangladesh and host communities towards Rohingya refugees in their time of need conveys a critical need for greater international and regional commitment to burden share and ensure that the Rohingya do not become forgotten,” Heyzer said.

She highlighted the major pressures on Bangladesh as host of one of the largest refugee populations in the world, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

On the other hand, foreign missions stationed in Dhaka said they will continue to pursue a long-term solution to the Rohingya crisis and its causes.

"Five years on, the international community stands resolute in solidarity in its support for Rohingya and Bangladesh," reads a joint statement by the embassies and high commissions in Dhaka on Thursday.

The signatories are Australian High Commission in Dhaka, British High Commission, High Commission of Canada, Embassy of Denmark, European Union Delegation to Bangladesh, Embassy of France, German Embassy, Embassy of Italy, Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Switzerland and Embassy of the United States of America in Bangladesh.

The foreign missions in their joint statement said they will continue to work together with the Government of Bangladesh, the UN, and international and national partners, to ensure that Rohingya refugees receive humanitarian assistance, protection and education.

"We underline the importance of Rohingya’s ability to live safe, purposeful and dignified lives whilst they are in Bangladesh and support the efforts to prepare them for return to Myanmar, once conditions allow."