Dhaka wants safe Rohingya repatriation

Momen urges diplomats to mount pressure on Myanmar

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday reiterated that Bangladesh always wants to resolve any bilateral or international issue through peaceful negotiation and that the country expects similar reciprocity from other nations. Referring to the Rohingya crisis, the foreign minister said that Dhaka is very serious about a speedy but safe repatriation of the refugees.

However, Myanmar is spreading false, fabricated and motivated reports on the issue, saying Bangladesh has been lingering the process of repatriation, he said. “It’s a blatant lying. We are always ready to send them back, but the Myanmar is now showing zero interest to take back its nationals,” the foreign minister said while briefing foreign diplomats posted in Dhaka.

He urged the international community to intensify pressure on Myanmar to make it create congenial atmosphere for Rohingya repatriation.
After briefing foreign diplomats at State Guest House Padma, the foreign minister told media that Bangladesh has made its stand over the Rohingya issue clear.

“The diplomats assured us of that they're with us over Rohingya issue. We requested them to mount pressure on Myanmar to create a conducive environment,” he told reporters. “Almost all diplomats stationed in Dhaka greed with putting pressure continue on Myanmar,” Momen said.

He also expressed dissatisfaction over Myanmar's failure to ensure security and conducive environment in Rakhine State in line with the provisions of the bilateral instrument for the repatriation of Rohingyas. “I have also sought comprehensive engagements and decisive actions from the international community for the earliest repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingya population and their reintegration in 

Myanmar with safety and dignity,” the foreign minister said. Diplomats stationed in capital Dhaka on Wednesday said they will extend all out cooperation with Bangladesh to put tremendous pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingyas from here immediately. The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink said, “Foreign Minister Dr Momen gave the latest information on Rohingya issue. I told him that we are with Bangladesh. We will support Bangladesh on this issue.”

“We all diplomats are holding talks over the issue for long. We are passing through a tough situation right now as Myanmar is reluctant to take back its nationals. We along with Bangladesh government will sit with the Myanmar government in order to resolve the crisis through holding discussion immediately,” Sidsel Bleken, Norway Ambassador said.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.2 million Rohingyas. Most of them came here after the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive in the pretext of a 'clearance operation' on August 25, 2017. Although Dhaka and Nay Pyi Taw have signed an agreement for repatriation, there has apparently been no progress.

Refugees and rights groups have accused the Myanmar military and its local collaborators of crimes, including murder, rape, torture, loot, and arson. UN's top human rights official described Myanmar's crackdown and treatment of Rohingyas as a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a press conference blamed Myanmar's reluctance to take back its people as a major barrier to the repatriation. "The problem lies with Myanmar. It (Myanmar) in no way wants to take them back. There's the problem," she added.