Friday, 29 May 2020

Visiting Chief of UN High Commission for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, met foreign adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury and Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday, regarding the Rohingya refugees' issue, especially in resuming talks with Burma for refugee repatriation, the United Nations refugee agency of Dhaka said yesterday. 

"Our intention is to re-establish the trilateral mechanism among Bangladesh , UNHCR and Burma , to create a condition for voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya refugees to Burma ," visiting UNHCR Chief Antonio Guterres told reporters after a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Adviser Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, according to Bangladesh TV.

 

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed assured the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of his support in resuming talks with Burma , also added BTV.

 

A large number of Rohingyas, mostly unregistered, continue to live in southern Cox's Bazar without any facilities. Since the issue remains unresolved, another thousands of  Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh over the past few years and are currently living in unofficial camps along the border, according to  Rohingya political organization.

 

Most of these refugees were repatriated under the supervision of the UNHCR, before the process came to a stop in July 2005, with the remaining refugees unwilling to go back and the U.N. body against using force, it added.

 

Sona Banu, a 32-year-old woman from Kutupalong camp told the UNHCR Chief, Antonio Guterres that after the downfalls of military dictatorship and establishment of democracy, peace and human rights in Burma , before asking us to return.

 

Burma has repeatedly said it was trying to resume the process to take back the refugees, but it has not initiated the process yet, Bangladeshi officials said.

 

Thousands of Rohingyas, men, women and children, also live outside the two officially-run camps at Kutupalong and Nayapara, according to sources.

 

Till 2006, around 2, 37, 000 refugees returned to Burma . Most of the remaining refugees live in two camps in Nayapara and Kutupalong in Cox's Bazar district, where they receive assistance from the UNHCR and the World Food Program.

 

According to the UNHCR, over 250,000 Rohingya Muslims took shelter in Bangladesh in 1991-92 following alleged atrocities by the Burmese junta.

 

Replying to the reporters in meeting, the UNHCR Chief said the UNHCR had a resettlement program for the remaining refugees to third world countries and currently Canada is the highest recipient of the Rohingya refugees.

 

"Our preferred solution is to create possibilities for the people to be able to go back to their home in safety, in dignity on a voluntary basis and to be able to be part of the construction of their own country," he added.

 

According to a source in Dhaka, the UNHCR Chief arrived in Bangladesh to request the government to give the Rohingyas citizenship rights.

 

Poverty-stricken and overcrowded Bangladesh has said it would not be able to provide the Rohingyas a home or grant them citizenship.

 

Guterres arrived in Bangladesh on Monday on a two-day visit aimed at finding a solution for the refugee problem. He visited the Kutupalong camp on the same day.