Dhaka, Sept 26 (UNB) – Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday said the government will erect barbed-wire fences around Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar soon to stop the spread of Rohingyas across the country.
“We’ll soon erect barbed-wire fences around the camps as per the directive of the Prime Minister to maintain the law and order in the camps and ensure the safety and security of the Rohingyas,” he said.
The minister came up with the remarks while talking to reporters at the Secretariat at noon following a meeting with US Ambassador Earl R Miller.
Earlier, a European Union delegation along with Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine met the minister at his office.
Asaduzzaman said he assured US and Canadian delegations that the fences would not turn the refugee camps into jails. ‘’Those will be erected to ensure proper security inside the camps. Many other countries, including Turkey, keep refugees confined to certain places by installing fences. We assured them that the fences will be installed to keep them (Rohingyas) away from spreading elsewhere.”
He cited recent infighting among Rohingyas, terrorist activities and Yaba smuggling in camps that prompted them for erecting fences.
Initially, three or four large camps will come under barbed-wire fences, the minister said, adding that gradually fences will be erected around all the camps. “Watchtowers and CCTV cameras will also be installed for monitoring the camps.”
Besides, the government will create a special police unit for maintaining the law and order in the camps, he said.
Asked about shifting Rohingyas to Bhashan char island in Noakhali, Asaduzzaman said the Prime Minister will take the decision after discussions with international NGOs, including UNHCR.
About the Rohingya repatriation, the minister said the displaced Myanmar nationals refused to return to their place of origin in Rakhine State for lack of security there.
He, however, said the US, Canada, EU and UN are working over the repatriation.
He said the ambassadors asked about restricted mobile network service in the camps. ‘’We assured them that the step was taken for a certain period so that Rohingyas can’t contact international terrorists and don’t get involved in terrorist activities.”
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017.