CM – UN and Bangladesh sign agreements to assist resettled Rohingya refugees


More than 19,000 of the 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh have already been relocated to the island of Bhasan Char by the government.

The United Nations and the Government of Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the protection and management of Rohingya refugees on an island in the Bay of Bengal, where thousands of them reside from overcrowded camps near the Myanmar border The UN said in a statement.

More than 19,000 of the 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh have already been relocated by the government to the island of Bhasan Char, and the UN said one of the main reasons for signing of the memorandum is the beginning of the service for this population.

The government had previously announced that 100,000 refugees from the camps in the Cox’s Bazar district would gradually be relocated to the island.

The new agreement was a paradigm shift since the United Nations and other humanitarian groups criticized the resettlement for claiming that the 30-year-old island in the country’s Noakhali district was not habitable. But the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina insists that the island was developed with more than 112 million US dollars and is no longer a vulnerable area that used to be regularly flooded by monsoon rains. The island now has levees, hospitals, schools and mosques, the government says.

After the settlement on Saturday, authorities said that another 81,000 refugees would be relocated to the island over the next three months.

Despite Following vehement protests by the UN, a team from the international body visited the island in March when the UN began to change its mind.

In a statement, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the new agreement was another expression of “generosity and supporting Bangladesh towards the Rohingya people until they can safely and sustainably return to Myanmar. « 

The agreement also enables close cooperation between the government and the United Nations in services and activities for the benefit of the increasing numbers of Rohingya refugees who live on the island.

The statement states that the United Nations will hold talks before the agreement is signed it led the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and with those already on the island.

“These cover key areas such as protection, education, qualification, livelihood and health that will help the refugees to lead a decent life on the island and to better prepare it for a sustainable return to Myanmar in the future, « the statement said.

Johannes Van Der Klaauw, representative at UNHCR, said the organization had seen the island and believe that the government of Bangladesh has set up « significant infrastructure » to offset environmental threats.

Klaauw also said the memorandum states that the movement of refugees from the island to the main camps in southern Bangladesh is taking place Conditions will be allowed.

Refugees also have the chance to earn a living by doing odd jobs after setting up aid organizations on the In sel will be accessible.

“When future refugees move to Bhasan Char, they do so on an informed and voluntary basis and they have freedom of movement on the Char (island). Thirdly, we have also stated in this memorandum that the administration of the settlements is in civil hands and is of a humanitarian nature, since these islands started out as naval bases and there are still naval personnel, but as soon as we start working for the United Nations or UNHCR « It is important that we maintain the humanitarian and civil character of such a settlement, » he said.

A woman who moved to the island with her family earlier this year on board a naval ship that brought many refugees to the island Insel brought in, said many like her fled back to the camp by boat because life on the island is tough for the refugees.

« If people stay there for a few years, everyone could get mental health problems, » said she, adding that medical and other support facilities are not very well established on the island. She didn’t want to be named for fear of retribution.

« I will go to the country where I was born, my father and my grandfather were born. I love this country and I agree to go to this country. I do not agree to go to any other country, island or place even if I am offered milk and rice on a gold plate. I am ready and happy to go to my country, my country and my home. ”

More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017 when the military in the predominantly Buddhist Myanmar attacked Insurgents cracked down on the Muslim ethnic group. They joined hundreds of thousands of others who fled to Bangladesh for decades.

Bangladesh has tried in recent years to send refugees back to Myanmar under a bilateral framework, but no one has been willing to go there. Hasina repeatedly told the United Nations and other international partners that her government would not force refugees to return to Myanmar, but urged them to put pressure on Myanmar to create a safe environment to facilitate their voluntary return.

The Rohingya are not recognized as citizens in Myanmar, rendering them stateless and facing other forms of state-sanctioned discrimination.

A United Nations-sponsored investigation in 2018 recommended prosecuting Myanmar’s top military commanders for genocide and war crimes and crimes against humanity for violence against the Rohingya.

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