Dhaka seeks third-country resettlement of Rohingyas

NEWS DESK

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said ensuring accountability for the atrocities committed against Rohingyas, as well as repatriation of the Rohingyas to their ancestral homeland, Myanmar or third country resettlement, are sustainable solutions to the Rohingya crisis.

He said this during a meeting with the visiting OIC-UNHCR joint delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

At the meeting, the foreign secretary urged the OIC-UNHCR joint delegation to mobilise robust international support for ensuring a sustainable solution to this tragic crisis and continue humanitarian assistance until repatriation is materialised.

The OIC delegation, headed by the Assistant-Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs, Ambassador Tarig Ali Bakheet, the UNHRC delegation, headed by Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor to the High Commissioner and UNHCR’s Representative for the GCC Countries and other development partners are visiting Bangladesh from August 6 to 11 to take stock of the situation of Rohingyas.

The foreign secretary stated that under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government of Bangladesh has provided shelter and protection to the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from their ancestral homeland, Myanmar.

He reiterated Bangladesh’s intention towards meaningful engagement of the UN, regional bodies, and other friendly nations in materialising the return of the Rohingyas to their homeland and ensuring their rights to return. He also appreciated the humanitarian assistance received from the international community.

Masud appreciated the visit of the OIC-UNHCR delegation to the Rohingya Camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar and hoped that the delegation had a firsthand idea of the crisis as well as witnessed the efforts taken by the government of Bangladesh with the support of the international community to alleviate the sufferings of the Rohingyas through different programmes.

He also apprised the delegation of the Bhasan Char project, which is implemented by the Bangladesh government spending US$ 350 million of its own resources.

Recalling the OIC Secretary-General’s recent visit to Bangladesh, the foreign secretary commended the OIC Secretary-General for his firm support for the ICJ case filed by The Gambia, and sincere efforts to maintain the focus of the Rohingya issue in different forums of the OIC.

Raising concern over the insufficient funding for the ICJ case filed by The Gambia, as well as declining assistance for the humanitarian operation for the FDMNs, Masud urged the OIC as well as the Gulf countries to increase their assistance for Rohingyas.

During the call, the OIC Assistant Secretary-General praised the Government and people of Bangladesh for providing shelter, protection, and necessary assistance to the Rohingyas.

He renewed the OIC’s commitment to remain constructively engaged on the issue of Rohingya. “Repatriation is the final solution to this crisis”, he added.

The Senior Advisor to the High Commissioner and UNHCR’s Representative for the GCC Countries suggested diversifying funding sources.

Prior to the call, the OIC-UNHCR delegation met with the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on August 10, 2023, at the Prime Minister’s Office.

During the meeting, the principal secretary highlighted to the visiting delegation the relocation of the Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar to Bhashan Char and sought more contributions to the Joint Response Plan (JRP).

He requested the visiting delegation to jointly organise dedicated programmes for the Rohingyas and called for enhanced diplomatic efforts to keep the issue alive on the global agenda.

The OIC-UNHCR delegation also includes OIC Special Envoy to Myanmar Ambassador Ibrahim Ahdy Khairat, representatives from the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF), Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Kuwait’s Zakat House and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).

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