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US wants to see UN study findings on Bhasan Char

Rohingya relocation

November 09, 2019 00:00:00

The United States has said it looks forward to the UN technical study of Bhasan Char, which will evaluate its "technical, security, and financial" feasibility to serve as an additional locale for Rohingyas, reports UNB.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick and acting assistant secretary of State Alice G Wells, who wrapped up their three-day visit on Thursday evening, discussed the Rohingya issue and ways to find a sustainable solution during their stay here.

A technical team of the UN agencies will visit Bhasan Char soon to assess the facilities and other relevant issues on relocation of Rohingyas there.

Representatives from the Rohingya community are likely to be taken during the planned visit, officials said.

In her meetings with government officials, acting assistant secretary Wells stressed that the solution to the Rohingya crisis remains in Myanmar and condemned the inaction by Myanmar authorities to create conditions for voluntary, safe, and dignified returns, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday night.

Wells underscored that the United States will continue its bilateral and multilateral efforts to bring a conclusion to this refugee crisis.

Bangladesh said Rohingyas will have a better living in Bhasan Char once relocated there reiterating that it "will not force" any of the displaced people to avail of the relocation opportunity.

"We wanted to avoid the risk as they (Rohingyas) die in landslides in the crowded camps. They'll have a better living if they go there (Bhasan Char)," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen conveyed to acting assistant secretary Wells during a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

The government has a plan to accommodate 100,000 Rohingyas in Bhasan Char which is ready now for living, as newly-built shelters will offer educational and livelihood options and help decongest the present camps.

The cluster in Bhasan Char comes with multi-storey buildings, a typical model that is hugely successful in coastal belt.

The Foreign Minister said he wanted to know from the US official how they can help to ensure the repatriation of Rohingyas.

The US side said they are "fully engaged" with the Rohingya issue and they want to see the issue is resolved.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas who have fled their homeland in Rakhine State after being persecuted by their own country.

Myanmar did not take back a single Rohingya from Bangladesh over the last two years but Myanmar, in its attempts to "mislead" the international community, claimed that a total of 397 displaced people have voluntarily returned from Bangladesh to Myanmar.

Two repatriation attempts were unsuccessful as Myanmar "failed to remove trust deficit" among the Rohingya and there was "lack of conducive environment" in Rakhine for their return.

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