Beijing for joint global efforts for Rohingya repatriation
Highlighting the importance of joint global efforts to ensure repatriation of the Rohingyas, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen has said those who keep claiming that the situation in Myanmar is “not conducive” to repatriation have seldom visited Rakhine.
“It’s quite strange. And they didn’t answer the question whether the situation in Cox’s Bazar is right for the displaced people to live a decent life. This is something they have to ask themselves,” he told UNB in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
Friday marked the 6th year of the Rohingya exodus into Bangladesh. Around 750,000 Rohingyas fled to Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017, to escape a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine.
“The Rohingya issue has plagued Bangladesh and Myanmar for long. Over the years, Bangladesh has made great sacrifices by sheltering these displaced people. However, the security situation in the camps is deteriorating rapidly,” said Yao Wen, noting that killing, gunfight, kidnapping, and drug and human trafficking are rampant in the Cox’s Bazar camps.
“External assistance is also heading down. The food ration for the displaced people has been reduced from $12 to $8 per person per month, which is far from enough for sustaining life,” he added.
“Though the Rohingya issue is by nature a bilateral one between Bangladesh and Myanmar, China, as a common neighbour of both countries supports the two sides to settle differences through friendly consultations, so as to maintain peace and stability in the region,” said the envoy.
“We have urged Myanmar to improve the security situation in Rakhine, helped Bangladesh and Myanmar promote conditions of repatriation and resettlement facilities, provided good office for direct talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar, and called on the international community to encourage and support both sides,” he added.
According to Yao Wen, China’s mediating and facilitating role has won respect, recognition and trust from both Bangladesh and Myanmar, and also helped the two countries boosting their trust in one another.
This year by far, Myanmar has shown stronger will and increasing flexibility to take back some of the displaced people, according to the Chinese envoy.
“We have witnessed several historic breakthrough in the past few months. For example, upon invitation by the Myanmar side, representatives of displaced persons and officials of the Bangladeshi government conducted the first ever go-and-see visit to Rakhine State.
“Myanmar also sent a working group to Cox’s Bazar to talk directly with the displaced persons and introduce to them the scenario after returning to Rakhine,” he said.
“We call upon all the stakeholders to make concerted efforts to fulfill the objective of repatriation, since there is no other alternative,” he said.