The visiting UNHCR delegation on Wednesday said they support the Bangladesh government’s steps to relocate the Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char island.
The UN refugee agency also called on the international community to come forward to ensure that the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char have a life of dignity.
Compared to Cox’s Bazar, the shelters in Bhasan Char are more comfortable, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Raouf Mazou told reporters after their meeting with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.
Mr Mazou said the government had made a significant investment in Bhasan Char and stressed the need for providing economic opportunities for the refugees.
Talking to the newsmen, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Gillian Triggs praised the Bangladesh government and its people for providing shelters and protection to such a huge number of refugees.
She also stated the Covid management in the Cox’s Bazar camps was very satisfactory.
Ms Triggs said the responsibility of repatriation of Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine State lies with the Myanmar government.
Regarding the third-country resettlement of Rohingyas, she said the UNHCR is in contact with some countries for this but this is not a permanent solution.
The delegation also noted that the present situation in Myanmar has made the repatriation process complicated.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen said, Rohingyas have become frustrated as they failed to go back home despite the passage of four years.
Their demonstration in Bhasan Char is the outcome of this frustration, he added.
The minister urged the UNHCR to arrange visits of Rohingya refugee leaders to the settlements, constructed by the Myanmar government in Rakhine State.
“Since the military is in power in Myanmar, they will listen to the UN,” the minister observed adding that the repatriation to Myanmar is the only way to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
The UNHCR delegation visited Bhasan Char island on Monday in the southern Bay of Bengal to assess the living conditions of more than 18,000 stateless Rohingyas. They also visited Cox’s Bazar refugee camps on Tuesday.