Dhaka seeks global support in pilot Rohingya repatriation project


Bangladesh has urged the United Nations, Asean and regional countries to support the pilot repatriation project and help Rohingya returnees reintegrate in Myanmar.

Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith, made the call while speaking at the Security Council’s Arria-formula meeting on Myanmar.

The meeting convened by the United Kingdom was held at the United Nations Headquarters on Friday (May 19).

Referring to the recent dialogue between Bangladesh and Myanmar, Ambassador Muhith informed the Security Council that the two sides have decided to undertake a pilot repatriation project under which a group of verified Myanmar nationals will return to their country of origin in the first batch.

The repatriation will continue and additional Rohingyas will be repatriated in successive batches.

He further informed that a group of 20 Rohingya visited Rakhine State on May 5, 2023 to see arrangements made in Myanmar for their return.

Citing the pilot project as an important step in the right direction, the Permanent Representative said that Bangladesh is taking all measures to ensure the voluntary return of the Rohingyas in family units.

Ambassador Muhith called upon the international community to remain vigilant so that the returnees under pilot project are not exposed to further persecution.

“The presence of humanitarian and development actors in the Rakhine will act as an important confidence building measure. We also urge the regional countries to support the returnees and help them reintegrate in Myanmar society,” he added.

The meeting held in the in-person format was attended by all Security Council members and a large number of member states from the Asean.

They also expressed support for the efforts of Asean in addressing the multifaceted challenges of Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today urged countries, who are heavily investing in Myanmar, to come forward for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis for their own interests and to protect their investment.

“If this problem is not resolved, you have seen many countries in the Asia Pacific and the Bay of Bengal — their attractions have increased and made investments, enhancing trade. This investment will be hurt if there are terrorist activities,” Momen told reporters after a seminar at a Dhaka hotel.

Momen said if the Rohingyas who are frustrated succumb to terrorism, major investments by some countries in the whole region would be at risk.

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