New York: Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked for early repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
In her speech at the UN General Assembly General Debate here on Thursday, Hasina regretted the fact that repatriation had not started in a permanent and sustainable manner, reports.
“Myanmar is one of our neighbours. From the outset, we have been trying to find a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis through bilateral consultations,” she said.
“So far, three bilateral arrangements have been concluded between Bangladesh and Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation. Despite their verbal commitment to take back the Rohingya, in reality the Myanmar authorities are yet to accept them back.
“The Rohingya crisis has had its origin in Myanmar. As such, its solution has to be found in Myanmar… We want an early, peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis,” the Prime Minister added.
The Rohingya in Bangladesh are living in an uncertain situation, she said. Bangladesh has made arrangements for their food, clothing, health care, child care and security to the best of its ability. Many countries and organisations, including the UN and the Commonwealth, have shown solidarity with the Rohingya and extended support and assistance for them.
Bangladesh has started working on a new housing facility for the refugees. “So long the Rohingya are not able to return home, they should, as a temporary arrangement, be able to live in a good and healthy condition,” she said.
Hasina called upon international organisations to work with her country in the relocation of the Rohingya to the new facility. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 720,000 Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority living in mostly Myanmar’s Rakhine state, have fled to Bangladesh since violence broke out in August 2017.
They joined another 200,000 Rohingya who earlier fled into adjacent Bangladesh, said the UNHCR.