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‘Address root causes of Rohingya influx’

United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at the state guesthouse Padma in Dhaka on February 20, 2017. Photo taken from Md Shahriar Alam's Facebook page.

February 20, 2017

Bangladesh FM urges int’l community

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali today urged the international community to take measures for addressing the root causes of Rohingya influx from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

He stressed on the peaceful resolution of the longstanding issue while meeting the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at state guesthouse Padma this afternoon.

The UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, is currently in Bangladesh for a three-day mission to Cox’s Bazar. Lee will visit the various locations in Cox’s Bazar and interact with the newly arrived Myanmar population who fled the recent military atrocities in the Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar.

During the meeting, the foreign minister apprised the UN special rapporteur of the steps that the Government of Bangladesh had taken vis-à-vis Myanmar refugees and the undocumented Myanmar nationals who entered Bangladesh over the years from the Rakhine State, said a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry.

He informed her about the repatriation status of the refugees under an agreement negotiated by him in 1992 and informed that as many as 236,599 Rakhine Muslims had been repatriated under that agreement until it came to a halt in 2005.

Ali stressed that the constant presence of the huge number of Myanmar nationals in Cox’s Bazar district has created a number of adverse effects on the overall socio-economic, political, demographic, environmental, humanitarian and security situation of Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts.

The foreign minister also informed the UN special rapporteur about the initiatives of the Government of Bangladesh to engage with Myanmar bilaterally through establishment of border liaison offices and introduction of dialogue on security cooperation.

The foreign minister highlighted the endeavours to foster regional connectivity involving Myanmar through BCIM and BIMSTEC and thus ensure sustainable development in the region. 

The UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee thanked the foreign minister for allowing her to undertake the visit in Bangladesh.

The foreign minister assured her of all sort of cooperation during her mission.

Following the visit, Yanghee Lee will issue an ‘end of mission statement’ and share her findings to the UN Human Rights Council which will be available online on March 13, 2017.

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