Dhaka – Bangladesh on Friday urged United Nations’ help for repatriation of the Rohingya Muslims as there has been hardly any progress four months after Myanmar agreed to return the refugees who fled a violent crackdown at home.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought the assistance when UN Secretary General Anterior Guterres made a phone call to the Bangladeshi leader.
Bangladesh allowed hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to cross the border on humanitarian ground after the Myanmar army launched a brutal crackdown on the ethnic group on August 25 in the pretext of an attack by suspected militants on security posts in troubled Rakhine state.
Guterres made the phone call at around 9.25 pm, said Ihsanul Karim, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary. The conversation lasted for nearly 12 minutes.
The Bangladeshi leader and the UN chief discussed about various issues, including the most pressing issue of refuge crisis.
Hasina thanked the UN chief for taking the Rohingya issue to the Security Council and apprised him of various efforts Bangladesh has taken after the refugee crisis unfolded between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh after the latest wave of atrocities launched in Rakhine state by the Myanmar army in August last year. Bangladesh has also been hosting nearly 400,000 other Rohingya Muslims evicted from their homes in Rakhine since 1991.
Hasina informed the UN secretary general about Bangladesh’s initiatives to relocated at least 100,000 Rohingya Bhashan Char island in the Bay of Bengal.
The relocation is likely to begin in the coming monsoon despite a number of international organisations opposed the idea saying that the island in the Bay of Bengal was not worthy to live right this moment.
Hasina invited Guterres to visit Bangladesh and see the plights of the Rohingya in the camps.
Karim said the UN secretary general appreciated Bangladeshi Prime Minister for her humanitarian gesture by giving shelter to over a million Rohingya in Bangladesh.