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‘Rohingya issue worrisome’

By BDNews24
May 7, 2014

The state minister for foreign affairs has expressed concern over Rohingyas being denied citizenship recognition in Myanmar.

M Shahriar Alam raised the issue at a meeting with the visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia (regional affairs), Fatema Sumar, on Wednesday.

Bangladesh has given shelter to thousands of refugees who fled Myanmar’s Rakhine province following years of recurring sectarian clashes.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, put the number in Bangladesh at over 200,000 with 30,000 documented refugees living in two government-run camps – Kutupalong and Nayapara – within two km of the Myanmar border.

Bangladesh government says more than 500,000 of them live outside the camps.

Myanmar’ government has refused to take them back, and reports say Rohingyas have been excluded from the updated voters’ list, putting their nationality into question.

The junior minister told the US official that Bangladesh was engaged with Myanmar despite the thorny refugee issue.

According to the foreign ministry, Alam expressed “concern” as the Rohingyas were not being registered as citizens of Myanmar.

US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena and foreign ministry’s Director General (Americas) Mahfuzur Rahman were present at the meeting.

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