Published:  10:49 PM, 11 September 2019

Myanmar failed to convince Rohingyas to go back: Momen

Myanmar failed to convince Rohingyas to go back: Momen
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today ruled out Bangladesh’s failure in commencing Rohingya repatriation rather saying it is Myanmar who has failed to convince their people to go back.

“It’s Myanmar government’s responsibility to convince their people to go back … they failed to do so,” he told reporters after attending a seminar on SDG at Palli Karma-Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar today.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh wants voluntary repatriation of forcefully displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar. “We won’t force them (Rohingya) to go back … but we would like to see voluntary repatriation,” he added.

Replying to a question about media report that Myanmar didn’t arrange accommodation for Rohingyas, Momen said the issue of accommodation is secondary. “Housing will be there if they repatriate … how they (Rohingya) will get accommodation if they don’t go there (Myanmar),” he said.

The foreign minister hoped that Myanmar will show sincerity in resolving the issue. “The Myanmar government will surely make some accommodation for them (Rohingyas),” he added.

Momen said the Myanmar government has agreed to arrange a visit to Rakhine for ambassadors of different countries including Bangladesh to let them see the situation there on the ground. “They never agreed before on this … now they are arranging the visit,” he said.

Answering another query on relocating Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, the foreign minister said “Relocating Rohingyas to Bhashan Char is not a solution … it’s temporary … the permanent solution is that Myanmar people will go back to Myanmar.”

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” by other rights’ groups.

The PKSF organised the seminar titled “Sustainable Development Goal-3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages” with its Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman in the chair.

Health and Family Welfare Secretary Sheikh Yusuf Harun and Dhaka University Professor Niaz Ahmed Khan also spoke at the seminar.

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