Fear of Fresh Rohingya Influx

Border on full alert

Diplomatic Correspondent

4 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has secured its international border with Myanmar in fear of a fresh influx of Rohingya Muslims from the Buddhist-majority country.

Necessary measures have been taken to secure Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar to stop any Rohingya influx, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has been put on high alert on Tumru, Ghumdhum, Chakdhala and Ashartali borders in Naikhyangchhari of Bandarban, home ministry sources said.

The border security measures came soon after the United Nations fears that Myanmar’s military coup may worsen the Rohingya situation in Rakhine.

A UN estimate says about 600,000 Rohingyas still remain in Rakhine of Myanmar, including 120,000 effectively confined to camps.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcibly-displaced Myanmar nationals -- most of whom have taken temporary shelter after the August 2017 military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine.

The UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” by other rights groups.

Abdul Momen, however, said Bangladesh does not fear any fresh Rohingya influx due to a changed situation in Myanmar.

The foreign minister said some friendly countries of Bangladesh fear that rest of the Rohingyas might flee to Bangladesh from Rakhine.

Bangladesh government wants to continue talks with Myanmar for advancing the ongoing process of commencing Rohingya repatriation, he mentioned.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar had secretary-level tripartite dialogue on January 19 last on the repatriation process of Rohingyas from Bangladesh.

A meeting of the Joint Working Group is scheduled to be held today to carry forward the discussion about commencing Rohingya repatriation.

However, there has been no response from the Myanmar side about holding the scheduled JWG meeting.

Foreign ministry officials said Dhaka didn’t officially communicate with Myanmar after the military coup on February 1.