Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday termed Myanmar’s recent mortar shelling inside Bangladesh “unintentional mistake”.
He said this while addressing a press conference — on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s itinerary at the 77th UNGA — at Hotel Lotte in New York.
The foreign minister said Myanmar authorities informed them that they are not shelling, targeting Bangladesh.
“That particular border area is very crisscrossed. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the border…for that reason, they are not shelling inside our border intentionally,” Momen said. One or two mortar shells that landed inside the Bangladesh border were dropped by mistake, he said.
He also said that Bangladesh foreign ministry summoned the Myanmar ambassador and the Myanmar authority promised that they will remain cautious.
Momen said Bangladesh has sealed the entire border and will not allow any more Rohingyas cross into the country.
He also mentioned that some Rohingyas went to the China area as they did not dare to come to the Bangladesh side.
He hoped that the displaced Rohingyas, who are staying in Bangladesh, would return to their homeland.
The foreign minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her call to the international community and the United Nations to play a more active role in repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their motherland Myanmar.
She made the call while UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi paid a courtesy call on her in New York.
Sheikh Hasina also emphasized enhancing UNHCR's activities in Myanmar for solving the Rohingya issue.
In response, Filippo Grandi said he would visit Myanmar soon.
The PM reiterated that the Rohingya crisis can only be resolved by repatriating them to Myanmar.
The UNHCR High Commissioner also agreed with her on this matter.
During the meeting, they discussed in detail the present operations of UNHCR to help Rohingyas who took shelter in Cox's Bazar and Bhashanchar in Bangladesh.
Later, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim A A Khan QC also called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
They discussed various aspects of cooperation between Bangladesh and the ICC.
The Premier has assured the ICC Prosecutor that Bangladesh will continue to cooperate with all ongoing efforts at the ICC to ensure justice and accountability for the Rohingya victims of torture in Myanmar.
ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has expressed interest in visiting Bangladesh again early next year.
Executive Director of the UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as well.
In this meeting, the steps for sustainable urbanisation taken by the Bangladesh government and areas of future cooperation were discussed.
In this connection, the Prime Minister informed him about the success of the Ashrayan Project undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh for the landless and homeless people.