The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Monday praised the initiative of the Bangladesh government to relocate Rohingya people to Bhasan Char.
An OIC delegation, which visited Rohingya camps in Bhasan Char in Noakhali and Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar on Sunday, made the compliment in a meeting with foreign minister AK Abdul Momen at his office on Monday.
‘The OIC team applauded the initiatives taken by Bangladesh in relation to Bhashan Char,’ the foreign ministry said in a press release after separate meetings of the five-member delegation with foreign minister Momen, state minister M Shahriar Alam and foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen.
OIC assistant secretary general Youssef Aldobeay was leading the delegation.
The foreign minister urged the OIC delegation to strengthen their efforts for the early repatriation of the Rohingyas who are currently taking shelter in Bangladesh to Myanmar.
State minister Shahriar requested the OIC delegation to encourage the OIC member countries to contribute to the ‘OIC Fund for Rohingya’ in order to enable Bangladesh and The Gambia to continue with the case in the ICJ and to reach an early and decisive decision.
Foreign secretary Masud briefed the delegation about the current situation of Rohingyas in Bangladesh and reiterated the government position for their safe, dignified and sustained repatriation to their homeland Myanmar as the viable solution to end the humanitarian crisis.
More than 10,100 Rohingyas have been relocated to Bhasan Char as part of the government move to decongest the camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The government invested more than Tk 3,100 crore from own funds to develop the 13,000-acre island in the Bay of Bengal with all amenities and facilities of supply of electricity and water, agricultural plots, cyclone shelters, two hospitals, four community clinics, mosques, warehouses, telecommunication services, police station, recreation and learning centres and playgrounds.
At least 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 has denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning on August 25, 2017.
The latest Rohingya influx has taken 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.
Not a single Rohingya has gone back to their home in Rakhine yet as the Myanmar government has stalled the repatriation process resorting to various means.
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