Foreign minister warns those instigating Rohingyas

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen speaks at a Dua Mahfil on the occasion of 44th death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Sylhet on 30 August 2019. Photo: UNBForeign minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday warned of taking legal steps against those instigating Rohingyas not to go back to their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

“We’ve learned that various NGOs are inciting [Rohingyas]. We’re scrutinising them,” he said at a Dua Mahfil on the occasion of 44th death anniversary of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Sylhet in the evening.

“Those who’re involved in such activities will be identified and brought to book,” Momen said.

Two attempts to repatriate the Rohingyas were called off –- the latest one in August –- as the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals refused to go back unless they are assured of security and citizenship.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar denies citizenship to Muslim-majority Rohingyas who have lived in the country for generations. State-sponsored discrimination against them stretches back decades.

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. Most of them came here after 25 August 2017, when Myanmar launched a brutal offensive targeting the ethnic minority.

Bangladesh and Myanmar have inked a bilateral repatriation deal but there has been no apparent progress.

Foreign minister Momen said the Rohingyas are not only a problem for Bangladesh but also for other countries. “Everyone will be affected if this problem is protracted. No-one will be benefitted,” he noted. “We expect active roles of other countries to resolve the issue.”

Momen said Myanmar has confirmed that Rohingyas will be able to live comfortably if they return and that they will not be tortured. “But they’ve failed to make the Rohingyas believe,” he said.

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