Won’t do anything by force: FM

Staff Corespondent
22 August 2019, Thu
Published: 10:02 Updated: 11:33

Won’t do anything by force: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday (August-22) said  that 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.

“It’s regrettable , what else you can do!” the Foreign Minister said while talking to a small group of reporters at his office.

He 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.

Abdul Momen told that 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,” the Foreign Minister said.

Dr Abdul Momen told Myanmar should come forward if they remain honest and should give access to Rakhine to see the situation there.

On the other hand, the Foreign Minister said they cannot be hostage to their demands. “They (Rohingya) need to realize their demands by going back to their homes.”  And they were hoping that the repatriation would begin today (August 22), at least on a small scale, but it’s yet to begin.

“We’re still waiting with a high hope. Myanmar has created the problem and solution lies there, too. We don’t want to do anything by force,” the Foreign Minister said adding that representatives of Myanmar, China and Bangladesh governments were present there.

Dr Momen also said that they will identify those distributing leaflets, supplying English-written signboards and carrying out campaigns encouraging Rohingyas not to return to Myanmar. We’re identifying them, and steps will be taken.

He told that which might create problems for the Rohingyas though they are living a comfortable life now. For their own better future, they should go back.

Dr Momen said their efforts will continue for voluntary and safe return of Rogingyas to their place of origin.

The Foreign Minister also said there are both positive and negative aspects of welcoming Rohingyas in 2017, and Myanmar did never say they will not take back their nationals.

While briefing media, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said that they interviewed the listed Rohingyas over the last couple of days and encouraged them to return to their homeland.

“None of the listed Rohingya people expressed willingness to go back to their country,” Abul Kalam said while talking to journalists at Shalbagan 26 No. Rohingya Camp at Nilai union in Teknaf upazila around 12:45 pm.

“Five buses remain ready in front of the camp since morning waiting for the Rohingyas to get on but none have responded yet,” he said.

“If any of the listed refugees express willingness to go back to Myanmar we will send them” the official told while adding that Bangladesh will not force any of them to go back.

“We’ve heard some Rohingya leaders emerged there. They don’t want the return of any Rohingya to their homeland. They’re trying to stop returnees. Some INGOs and NGOs are instigating them Rohingyas,” the Foreign Minister told a small group of reporters at his office.

AK Abdul Momen told that Bangladesh wants to see Rohingyas’ return to Rakhine State as soon as possible.