Rohingya relocation to Bhasan Char
Some 1,500 more Rohingyas are being relocated to the Bhasan Char Island in the seventh phase. On the first day of the seventh phase, around 379 Rohingyas were taken to Chattogram from the camps in Cox’s Bazar in seven buses on Wednesday. From there, the Rohingyas are scheduled to be sent to Bhasanchar on Thursday in a special navy ship. Shamsuddauja, Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner in Cox's Bazar, said the Rohingyas willing to go to Bhasan Char were brought to the temporary transit point at Ukhiya Degree College ground and provided with necessary items, including food, water and medicine. Read: Bhasan Char: an excellent example for a safe, sustainable, and resilient place for Rohingya relocation
Bangladesh will demand 10 percent of the funds that the humanitarian agencies raise in the name of Bangladesh and Rohingyas if they do not provide services to 100,000 Rohingyas to be shifted to Bhasan Char gradually, says Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen. “Yes, they’ll have to pay because the funds are coming for Rohingyas. We’ll demand 10 percent of the fund if they don’t want to provide services to Rohingyas in Bhasan Char,” he told UNB in an interview at his residence on Friday. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and the government has a plan to shift 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char gradually which has already started. The Foreign Minister said it should not be the headache of the humanitarian agencies where Rohingyas are living. Also read: Rohingyas want to return to Myanmar; happy with Bhasan Char facilities “It’s not a matter whether Rohingyas are living in Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar, Barishal or in Bhasan Char. That shouldn’t be their headache. Their headache should be providing services to Rohingyas. They’re obligated to give them services wherever they stay,” Dr Momen said. If the humanitarian agencies do not provide services to Rohingyas, Member States will not give funds which will put them in hardship, he said. The Foreign Minister said they do not know how the UNHCR and other agencies spend the money though they raise funds in the name of Rohingyas and host communities. Responding to a question on the technical team’s observation on Bhasan Char, the Foreign Minister said, “They’ve a very good and positive observation. Concisely, they’ve given a positive observation.” He said they will hand over a 10-page report based on their observations and they have already submitted a two-page synopsis. An 18-member UN delegation visited Bhasan Char in March to have a firsthand view of the housing facility for 100,000 Rohingyas. Also read: Japan announces $1 million emergency aid for Rohingya camp fire victims In their two-page synopsis, the team pointed out three points – education for Rohingya children, increasing heights of the embankments and better communication system. Dr Momen said Bangladesh has no problem in providing education to Rohingyas but it has to be in Myanmar language. “Rohingyas will have to go back to Myanmar. So, education in Myanmar curriculum will help Rohingyas integrate in their society easily once they return home,” he said. About further increasing the heights of the embankments, Dr Momen said they will certainly do it for their own needs. Also read: UN agencies ramp up response for Rohingya refugees after ‘unprecedented’ fire
A total of 1,464 Rohingyas on Saturday left for Bhasan Char in the third phase from camps of Cox's Bazar, as part of the government’s initiative to relocate the ethnic group to the island.
As part of the government’s initiative to relocate Rohingyas to Bhasan Char, 1,134 Rohingyas started their journey to the island by five ships on Tuesday in the second batch.
BNP on Monday strongly opposed the relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, saying it has manifested the government’s ‘limitless diplomatic and political failures’ to resolve the problem.
Bangladesh has conveyed to the UN refugee agency that the international community has no reason to worry about relocation of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char.
UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo on Saturday said the UN and its all the agencies recognise the enormous investment that the government of Bangladesh has made in building Bhasan Char for Rohingya relocation.
Bangladesh wants to begin relocation of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char soon as the government finds the weather and overall environment suitable for such relocation, officials said.