Bangladesh urges KSA to help solve Rohingya crisis

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 23:47, Jan 17,2021 | Updated: 23:58, Jan 17,2021


The Bangladesh government on Sunday urged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to extend support for sending back forcibly displaced Rohingya people to their home in Myanmar from Bangladesh and the KSA.

At an event in the presence of Saudi ambassador in Bangladesh Issa bin Youssef Al-Duhailan, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan put emphasised Saudi role in repatriating the members of the ethnic minority group to Myanmar.

‘They are not Bangladeshi citizens. They are from Myanmar, they are Myanmar citizens. It is clear,’ said the minister, according to United News of Bangladesh.

The Rohingya issue is a very old one, a 50 to 60 years old issue and Saudi Arabia was so generous to take Rohingyas in the past and they live in a particular area of a Saudi city, the home minister said after attending the function organised for distribution of food baskets by the Saudi embassy in Dhaka.

As the Saudi ambassador said, the Saudi government  considers those Rohingyas as Bangladeshis who are in Saudi Arabia with Bangladeshi passports.

The Saudi government has already sent a list of 55,000 people who have lost their documents or the validity of whose documents has expired, he said.

The government will, the home minister said, provide passports to the Bangladeshis if there are any in the group without passports. 

The Rohingyas who have gone to Saudi Arabia identifying themselves as Bangladeshis with Bangladeshi passports will be considered if they apply for the renewal of their passports, he added.

Some 8,60,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, have entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by the Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations have denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017, according to the UN agencies.

Two attempts at starting their repatriation failed in 2018 as not a single Rohingya expressed willingness to go back to Myanmar citing lack of conducive environment and security in Rakhine state.   

The latest Rohingya influx has raised the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 1.1 million, according to estimates by UN agencies and the Bangladesh foreign ministry.

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