A six-member delegation, including the UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Kanni Vignarazar, visited the Rohingya camp at Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar on Monday (September 11, 2023). During this visit, they observed various activities of the donor organisation. Also read: UN Assistant Secretary-General's visit to Bangladesh set for September 9 The delegation reached Block-L/17 of Rohingya Camp-18 in Ukhiya around 10:00 am on Monday. Later, they visited the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre at IMO. During the visit, an IMO official presented the delegation with details by displaying various items bearing testimony to the history and heritage of the Rohingyas preserved inside the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre. A group of Rohingya artists played musical instruments for the delegation and sang a Rohingya anthem (Tarana). They then visited the Model Village under the UNCR-NGO Forum and BRAC Dhara-run pilot project located in Camp 17 H/71 block and visited the ISO SET bio-diversity nurseries. During this time, BRAC officials briefed them on how waste material is paid for in the project. Also read: UNDP facilitates dialogues among parliamentarians on gender-based hate speech and Bangladesh Delta Plan Later, NGO officials gave a detailed briefing to the delegation on how the Rohingyas collect rations through smart cards. Later, they paid a courtesy call on the CIC at the CIC office of Camp-4 Extension. US Assistant Secretary-General Kanni Vignarazar spoke to some of the Rohingyas who came to WFP’s e-voucher shop and inquired about them. Later, the six-member delegation returned to Cox's Bazar around 3:00 pm. Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mizanur Rahman and Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Shaheen Imran were present during the visit. Also read: Sweden, UNDP continue to work on climate adaptation in Bangladesh "During this time, the delegation observed various activities of the donor organisation. Later, they spoke to some Rohingyas who had come to the WFP’s e-voucher shop for some time," said Mizanur.
The throat-slit body of a Rohingya boy was recovered from a drain in Ukhiya camp of Cox’s Bazar early Saturday. The deceased Md Mujib, 17, was son of Obaidul Haque of West bloc in the camp No-8 of Ukhiya upazila. Read more : Woman’s throat-slit body recovered in Sylhet Sheikh Muhammad Ali, officer-in-charge of Ukhiya police station, said locals spotted the body in a drain around 6am. Later, they informed Rohingya Majhi (leaders) who subsequently called Armed Battalion Police (APBn) in the camp, he said. Read more : Throat-slit body of Rohingya man recovered in Cox’s Bazar The body was sent to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy, the OC said adding that it could not be immediately known whoever was involved in the killing.
The United States has shared information with The Gambia in connection with the case the latter brought forward against Myanmar under the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over atrocities committed against the Rohingyas. "We stand ready to support a holistic transitional justice process to address the long history of atrocities once such a process becomes viable to respect the demands of victims and survivors for truth, reparation, justice, and non-recurrence," US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, said. Acknowledging the genocide as the first step, not the last, she said, all must take the next steps together to bring an end to the violence and prevent the recurrence of atrocities. Further delay in commencing Rohingya repatriation may put entire region at risk: Bangladesh Govt Zeya was speaking on the occasion of six years since the start of the horrific genocide against Rohingyas, said the US Department of State. She thanked members of the Rohingya diaspora who joined in. "I applaud your resilience in the face of ongoing persecution," she said. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Myanmar’s military brutally attacked Rohingya communities. Systematic acts of violence, including torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and mass killings led to largescale displacement and loss of thousands of innocent lives. The Myanmar military targeted one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in the country, forcing over 740,000 Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh. The rippling impact of those attacks continues today, six years later. Help us return home in Myanmar, Rohingyas appeal Bangladesh hosts over a million Rohingya refugees, with significant numbers seeking refuge in nearby countries. Many more remain internally displaced in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. "During my visit to Bangladesh in July, I met with Rohingya refugees, who shared personal stories of the horrific violence they and their families endured in Burma and the fear of continued persecution that prevents their return," Zeya said. The gradual loss of rights, citizenship, homes, and even their lives in the years leading up to the 2016-2017 outbreak of atrocities made clear that the regime sought to destroy Rohingya communities based on a false, discriminatory narrative of ethnic and religious differences. This false narrative attempts to obscure the fact that Rohingyas have been an integral part of Myanmar society for generations. "We are unwavering in our commitment to provide assistance to survivors and victims, seek accountability for those responsible, and pursue justice for the survivors and victims," Zeya said. US to pursue justice for Rohingyas and all people of Myanmar: Blinken In terms of providing assistance, the United States is the leading single donor of life-saving humanitarian assistance to this cause. They have provided more than $2.1 billion to assist those affected by the crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region since 2017. Recognizing that Rohingyas cannot safely return to their homeland in Myanmar under current conditions, she said, resettlement is another important way in which we contribute. Since 2009, the United States has warmly welcomed nearly 13,000 Rohingyas from the region, including from Bangladesh. "Our work is not just humanitarian, we also must move towards accountability," Zeya said. 6th Year of Rohingya Influx: Groups seek justice for 'ethnic genocide' in Myanmar The US also provides support to the UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, which has a mandate to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. US support includes providing the mechanism with $2 million of funding to strengthen its ability to conduct open-source investigations and to protect witnesses and victims. "We are not alone in seeking accountability. On Wednesday, we joined 12 other nations on the UN Security Council in a joint statement calling out the continued, unrelenting violence perpetrated by the military regime," Zeya said. This statement called on the regime to restore the rights of the Rohingyas. On Wednesday, the United States expanded its Myanmar-related sanctions on authorities to include any foreign individual or entity operating in the jet fuel sector of Myanmar’s economy and designated two individuals and three entities under this authority. This expansion follows US sanction actions already taken this year that designated Burma’s Ministry of Defense, its two largest regime-controlled banks, the Ministry of Energy, and other individual military-affiliated cronies. Zeya said they will continue to use their sanctions authorities to deprive the military regime of the resources that enable it to oppress its people and urge others to take similar accountability measures. Sixth year of genocidal attacks against Rohingya: A UN expert demands accountability for the violence "Justice for victims is also crucial. The United States coordinates with international partners and NGOs to support the Rohingya courageously seeking justice in the courts of Argentina for the atrocities committed against them," she said. Zeya said they are actively working with civil society and members of the Rohingya community to document the atrocities and other abuses committed against them. Secretary Blinken’s determination in March 2022 that members of Myanmar’s military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya was a historic occasion. This marked only the eighth time the United States has come to such a critical conclusion, she said. "We must take into account the needs of survivors, including creating the conditions to enable refugees’ safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return. We must address the military’s continued impunity for human rights abuses. And, we must support the fight for justice for those who have suffered," Zeya said. The US official said, "Taking these steps is how we can ensure a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Myanmar that respects the human rights of all."
China will always stay beside Bangladesh in its needs that included supporting it in joining the BRICS and ensuring permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday (August 23, 2023) evening gave the assurance in a bilateral meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Hotel Hilton Sandton here on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit. The Chinese president also gave assurance of cooperation in making Bangladesh a developed, prosperous Sonar Bangla and taking initiative to quicken the signing of the Preferential-free Trade Agreement with Bangladesh and reducing the imbalance in China-Bangladesh trade. Also read: Unhindered democracy spurs Bangladesh’s advancement: PM Hasina Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefed reporters after the bilateral talks between the two leaders. During the meeting, he said, both the leaders invited one another to visit their respective countries at their convenient time and they have agreed to this respect. “I will always support you (Sheikh Hasina) as you can join the BRICS,” Momen quoted the Chinese president as saying l. Regarding the Rohingya issue, Xi wants to resolve the Rohingya issue through tripartite engagement of China, Bangladesh and Myanmar and assured that they will always support Bangladesh to this end. Also read: Join our journey of becoming a trillion-dollar economy: PM Hasina tells South African businesses “China will help Bangladesh in bringing a permanent solution to the Rohingya issue. ---we don’t want instability in the region,” he was quoted as saying by the foreign minister. Bangladesh prime minister said that her government wants to repatriate Rohingyas to their homeland citing that they are becoming threats for the peace of the region as many of them are engaged in illegal drugs and arms trading. Also read: PM Hasina reaches Johannesburg to attend BRICS summit “Peace is imperative for development,” she said. Xi also expressed his country’s keenness to help Bangladesh in the development of energy, renewable energy and infrastructure. “China will help you materialise your dream to build a developed and prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ at the quickest possible time.” Hasina also sought the Chinese president’s help in quick implementation of some Chinese funded projects which are now being stuck for fund crisis while the Chinese leader is assured of looking into the matters. Read more: BRICS Summit 2023 unveils potential geopolitical paradigm shift: Modern Diplomacy During the talks, the prime inister stressed the need for reducing the trade gap between Bangladesh and China citing that Bangladesh has currently imported Chinese goods worth about 20 billion US dollars every year while China imported Bangladeshi goods worth only 700 million US dollars. The Chinese president in reply said they must address the issue and said that China has given duty and quota free access to 98 percent Bangladeshi products to the Chinese market. Hasina said that the trade gap between Bangladesh and China will be reduced if some Chinese investments come to Bangladesh. She also stressed the need for signing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries. “We will take measures to quicken the signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement between the countries,” Xi said in reply. Read more: BRICS Summit: Hasina, Modi likely to hold meeting on the sidelines Momen said that Bangladesh has expressed its eagerness to export fresh fruits such as mango, jackfruit, guava, fresh vegetables and cattle and poultry feeds to China. The Chinese leader assured them that they must consider it, Momen said. Bangladesh premier invited the Chinese President to visit Bangladesh to witness the opening of the Padma Rail Bridge to be held in October next. In reply, the Chinese president said that he will definitely come to Bangladesh. “But the time of visit will be fixed through talks between foreign ministers of both the countries.” Read more: 2023 BRICS Summit: Lot of interest in how new members are chosen and which countries would be eligible Xi Jingping also invited Bangladesh PM to visit China and in reply Sheikh Hasina said she will visit China. “But it may take time as she will be busy with the election campaign as the national election is knocking the door, the foreign minister said. Sheikh Hasina urged the Chinese President to widen the scope for Bangladeshi students to study in China while Xi assured of looking into the matter. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, PM's daughter and Thematic Ambassador of Climate Vulnerable Forum and Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Saima Wazed, PM's Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Senior Secretary of Foreign Affairs Masud Bin Momen, were present in the meeting. Read more: Developed countries should be happy that BRICS would like to help developing nations: Momen
6 years of Rohingya Influx: Bangladesh wants repatriation; some countries pushing for integration here
Six years after the Rohingya influx in Bangladesh, the government continues its efforts focusing on their safe repatriation, though some countries and international organisations are pushing for their integration in Bangladesh. “Our priority is that they (Rohingyas) will return to their homeland. Myanmar is also willing to take them back,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, noting that Myanmar needs to ensure safety and security of the Rohingyas after their return to their place of origin. On August 25, 2017, Myanmar’s military began carrying out violent operations against the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine state, which resulted in grave crimes under international law. Entire villages were burnt, and hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas were forced to flee into Bangladesh. The Foreign Minister said the government remains in a firm position regarding their repatriation to Myanmar. “So, discussion is underway. We are always hopeful,” he said, adding that some countries and international organisations recommended the Bangladesh government to give Rohingyas training and skills, and keep them here. Read: Singapore's support sought for Rohingya repatriation, Dhaka's inclusion as ASEAN Dialogue Partner Momen said Bangladesh already has a huge population and it does not need a large number of people from other countries. The minister said Rohingyas came to Bangladesh in the 1970s, '80s and '90s but every time they returned, even during military rule in the past. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has called for renewed commitment from the international community for financial support to sustain the humanitarian response and political support to find solutions for over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh. This week marks six years since over 700,000 Rohingya men, women and children from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh. They joined hundreds of thousands of other Rohingyas who had previously sought refuge in the country. Read: Said no to US congressmen’s suggestion that Bangladesh absorb Rohingyas: Momen As the humanitarian condition in the world’s largest refugee settlement worsens, the challenges surrounding this protracted crisis continue to increase. Steep decline in funds is forcing humanitarian actors to focus on the most critical and life-saving needs, UNHCR said. It has for the first time led to the reduction of refugees’ food assistance, raising concerns about cascading dramatic consequences: rising malnutrition, school dropout, child marriage, child labour and gender-based violence. With their strength and resilience, the Rohingya refugees have, over the past six years, formed the backbone of the humanitarian response and supported the communities hosting them in turn. UNHCR urged support to enable Rohingya refugees to benefit from education and skills development, through vocational training and other forms of capacity-building. This will not only equip the refugees for their eventual return but also ensure their dignity, safety and productivity during their time in Bangladesh. Read: Dedicated to finding global partners to fund humanitarian efforts in Rohingya camps: OIC This can empower them to address some of their own needs, as the refugees do not wish to be totally reliant on diminishing humanitarian aid, said the UN refugee agency on Tuesday. A dignified and sustainable return to Myanmar remains the primary solution to this crisis, said the UNHCR, adding that “Rohingya refugees continue to tell us they want to return to Myanmar when it is safe for them to do so voluntarily.” The UN agency said the international community must renew its efforts to make that possible. “As the United Nations remains ready to support efforts to create the conditions that would be conducive to sustainable return, it is crucial that UNHCR and its partners are provided unimpeded, meaningful and predictable access in Rakhine State in Myanmar, including to assist and monitor the return of refugees.” The collective goal should be to ensure Rohingyas’ voluntary return to Myanmar — to their places of origin or choice, being able to move freely and access documentation, citizenship pathways, services and income-generation opportunities to rebuild their lives, UNHCR said. Read more: Bangladesh seeks stronger support from int'l community for Rohingya repatriation Until they can return, they remain in refugee camps located in an area off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, which is extremely vulnerable to cyclones, flooding, landslides, fire outbreaks, and the impacts of climate change.
Bangladesh has sought stronger support from the international community for speedy, safe and dignified repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingya people to Myanmar. The international community was asked to enhance their support on the Rohingya issue at a high-level meeting held at the Prime Minister's Office here in the city on Sunday. Read: Rohingya people advocate for assurances of rights and citizenship PM’s Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah chaired the meeting, while a number of foreign envoys and representatives of international agencies, stationed in Dhaka, joined the meeting. In the meeting, Bangladesh put emphasis on increasing international support for quick, safe, dignified and permanent repatriation of Rohingya to their home country, said a press release. "The only solution to this crisis lies in the dignified and permanent repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland, Myanmar," said the Principal Secretary. Read: Bangladesh must suspend pilot project to return Rohingyas to Myanmar: UN expert Raising the government's stance on the issue, he said there is no scope for integration of Rohingya with locals. Tofazzel Hossain sought cooperation from the participants to create temporary shelters for the displaced people. The UN resident coordinator in Dhaka highlighted the reduction in the allocations of the World Food Programme and other donor agencies for humanitarian and food assistance to Rohingya amid the global economic crisis. In the meeting, the envoys of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Palestine, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and China raised the stance of their respective countries and reiterated their commitments to extend support and assistance standing with any initiative of Bangladesh over the Rohingya crisis. Read: UNHCR to look after Rohingya families waiting for repatriation too Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Public Security Division Secretary Mustafizur Rahman, PMO Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin and Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Kamrul Hasan were present. Saudi Ambassador Essa Yousef Essa Alduhailan, Chinese ambassador Yao Wen, UAE ambassador Abdulla Ali Abdulla Khaseif AlHmoudi, Qatar ambassador Seraya Ali Al-Qahtani, Turkiye ambassador Ramis Sen, Kuwait ambassador Ali Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Dhufairi, Oman ambassador Abdul Ghaffar Albulushi, Palestine ambassador Yousef S.Y. Ramadan, Iran ambassador Mansour Chavoshi, Chargé d'Affaires of Iraq Embassy Mohanad A.R Khalaf Al-Darraji, UN Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis and WFP country director in Bangladesh Dom Scalpelli, among others, took part in the meeting.
Bangladesh must immediately suspend a pilot repatriation project for Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar, where they "face serious risks" to their lives and liberty, a UN expert said on Thursday (June 8, 2023). UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said there were reports that Bangladeshi authorities were using “deceptive and coercive measures” to compel Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar. Also read: Rohingyas wanting to return to Myanmar should have access to clear info: UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees “Conditions in Myanmar are anything but conducive for the safe, dignified, sustainable, and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees,” Andrews said. “Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who commanded the forces that launched the genocidal attacks against the Rohingya, now leads a brutal military junta that is attacking civilian populations while denying the Rohingya citizenship and other basic rights,” he said. Bangladesh officials have stated that an initial group of 1,140 Rohingya refugees will be repatriated to Myanmar at an unspecified date and 6,000 will be returned by the end of the year. Actions by Bangladesh authorities suggest that the first return could be imminent. Aslo read: Myanmar team arrives in Cox's Bazar to verify list of Rohingya for repatriation “There are also reports of refugees being promised large sums of money, if they agree to return. These promises are allegedly being made even as food rations are being cut to $.27 per person per day for those in the Bangladesh camps. It remains unclear where the funds for repatriated families will come from,” Andrews said. Under the pilot project, Rohingya refugees will not be allowed to return to their own villages, many of which were razed to the ground during the genocidal attacks of 2017. The refugees would pass through “reception” and “transit” centers in Maungdaw township, after which they would be moved to a designated area of 15 newly constructed “villages” – places they would not be allowed to leave freely. In March, Bangladesh authorities facilitated two visits by Myanmar junta authorities (SAC) to the Bangladesh camps. Also read: Dhaka seeks global support in pilot Rohingya repatriation project Bangladesh and SAC officials also coordinated a “go and see” visit to Rakhine State for some Rohingya refugees. Bangladeshi officials said the refugees had expressed “general satisfaction” with arrangements made for their return, but these assurances were contradicted by reports that those who participated in the trip had unequivocally rejected the repatriation plans.
The government of Japan has decided to provide the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with USD 0.5 million assistance in response to the super Cyclone Mocha which made landfall on 14 May and hit Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. The heavy rains caused damage in both Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, significant damage was observed to camps hosting approximately 930,000 refugees. A total of 4 districts, 26 Upazilas (sub-districts), 99 unions, and 429,337 Bangladeshi nationals were affected by the cyclone, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. The intense and heavy wind and rainfall destroyed or damaged shelters, water points, latrines, culverts, bridges, and other key community infrastructure. Also Read: Japan, IOM sign $5.7 million assistance to Rohingyas, host communities in Bangladesh This emergency grant is to provide critical WASH services to Rohingya, and host communities affected by the cyclone Mocha through IOM. Activities will include repairing and installation of latrines, provision of hygiene packages to those affected populations and hygiene awareness/promotions activities. “I feel empathy for those who suffer from disasters such as cyclones. Japan is also prone to natural disasters and is committed to supporting the response and the Build Back Better after Cyclone Mocha for both Rohingya and host communities," said Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori on Tuesday. Also Read: Japan wants to understand what’s happening in Bangladesh and where it’s headed, BNP says as ambassador meets Fakhrul He hoped that the WASH services supported by Japan will contribute to maintaining the hygiene environment and will prevent water-borne diseases which might outbreak after the cyclones. Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh Abdusattor Esoev said they are grateful for the generous support of the government of Japan in response to the devastating impact of Cyclone Mocha on the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar. Also Read: Will continue to work toward resolution of Rohingya issue: Japan "Japan's commitment to supporting the response and the 'Build Back Better' approach demonstrates their empathy and dedication to those affected by disasters. Together with our partners, we will continue our efforts to provide essential assistance and support the recovery of the affected communities," said Abdusattor Esoev. Since the beginning of the emergency in August 2017, Japan has been a steady supporter of the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, contributing over USD $200 million to IOM and other UN agencies as well as NGOs in Bangladesh, including through this new funding.
Four Rohingya refugees who were abducted from Teknaf in Cox's Bazar have been released in exchange for a ransom of Tk 5 lakh. The abducted Rohingyas are: Mohammad Yunus, 32, son of Nur Hossain; Mohammad Sultan, 24, son of Mohammad Rafiq; Abdullah, 16, son of Abdur Rahman; and Anwar Islam, 18, son of Mohammad Syed. They are all residents of Alikhali Rohingya Camp-25, Block D/22, under Hnila union of Teknaf. Read: 2 BCL leaders arrested for abduction, robbery at Dhaka College The abducted Rohingyas returned home on Monday (June 5) evening, said Jamal Pasha, superintendent of police and deputy commander of 16 Armed Police Battalion (APBn). They were given first aid at the NGO hospital. Later, the APBn members handed them over to their families, he added. Read: Ctg boy killed after abduction for ransom; 2 arrested Earlier on Friday (June 2, 2023) night, five Rohingyas were abducted by miscreants from Alikhali camp in Teknaf. Of them, Jahangir Alam was dropped off, with his hands cut off, near the camp on Sunday (June 4, 2023) evening. Later, locals rescued him and took him to the hospital. He is now receiving treatment at the hospital. Read: Abduction in guise of DB: Constable put on 1-day remand
A 19-year-old Rohingya boy was shot dead allegedly by miscreants at Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhiya upazila on Monday. The deceased was identified as Mohammad Bashir, son of Rahmat Ullah and resident of No 6 camp. Also Read: UN urgently appeals for international support for Rohingyas Sheikh Mohammad Ali, officer-in-charge of Ukhiya Police Station, said a group of masked miscreants, numbering 25-30 , opened fire on the boy, leaving him injured. Later, he was taken to a hospital where the doctors declared him dead. Also Read: UN agencies face funding challenges in feeding Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, official says The reason behind the killing could not be known immediately. Police are trying to arrest the attackers, said OC.