Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday said Bangladesh will take a tougher position over Rohingya issue saying the global leadership must resolve it quickly to ensure greater peace and stability in the region.
“We tried our best, we worked as per your suggestions but finally it (repatriation) didn’t happen. We’ll make our position stronger,” he said.
The Foreign Minister was talking to reporters after a discussion titled “15 August and Its Impact on Bangladesh” at Bangabandhu Memorial Trust auditorium organised by Awami League’s international affairs sub-committee.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh gave Rohingyas the shelter on humanitarian ground but they are not Bangladesh’s headache rather it is the headache of the whole world.
He said Myanmar “must be accommodative” and it must “convince” their nationals to go back to their place of origin in Rakhine State. “We did whatever we can from our part.”
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered the country since August 25, 2017.
Despite all the preparations, no Rohingya turned up on Thursday to avail of the “voluntary” repatriation offer given to them to go back to their place of origin in Rakhine State of Myanmar prompting the authorities to suspend the repatriation process for the day.
“The world should be more concerned about it (Rohinmgya crisis),” he said urging the global leadership to find out a solution to the crisis that began on August 25, 2017.
The Foreign Minister also reminded that Asean countries have a responsibility to convince Myanmar to act and take back their nationals as quickly as possible.
He urged the UN agencies to focus more on Myanmar, instead of Bangladesh, to create conducive conditions there for safe return of Rohingyas and remove trust-deficit among them. “With our limited resources, we kept them well.”
The Foreign Minister said China, Russia, India, Japan and other countries are in favour of Bangladesh over Rohingya repatriation matter.
He said the UN cannot avoid the responsibility and mentioned that hatred has been there (Rakhine) for a long time.
He said Bangladesh is always ready to facilitate the return of Rohingyas and mentioned that they are still hopeful.
The Foreign Minister said the process is still on but maintained that Myanmar could not create confidence among the Rohingya.
On Thursday, Dr Momen said Bangladesh does not want to do anything by force and laid emphasis on removing trust-deficit among Rohingyas who refused to return to their homeland.
Dr Momen said there is a trust-deficit among Rohingyas and reiterated Bangladesh’s call to take 100 “majhis” or Rohingya leaders to Rakhine State, and show them what measures and arrangements are taken to welcome Rohingyas to their own homes as they fear about their safety and security.
The Foreign Minister earlier said he is thinking about forming a commission with people from various countries to go and see the development in Rakhine and inspect whether peace and stability are prevailing there or not with required steps.
“Myanmar should prove that development is there and peace is prevailing,” he said adding that Myanmar can also take journalists there to see the situation on the ground.
Dr Momen said Myanmar should come forward if they remain honest and should give access to Rakhine to see the situation there.unb