UN rapporteur for third-country resettlement of Rohingyas

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Dhaka, Dec 19: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tom Andrews today said he would encourage international engagement for taking steps on third-country resettlement for displaced.

“I will continue to encourage robust international engagement not only with an increase in resources, but also with complimentary measures including the provision of robust third-country resettlement options for Rohingya refugees,” he said.

Tom was speaking at a media briefing at a city hotel before leaving here after concluding his week-long first ever visit in Bangladesh.

The UN expert said he will push for a stronger, more coordinated international response to the Rohingya crisis, including the imposition of pressure on the Myanmar military and for concrete measures to hold the military junta fully accountable for the issue.

“As an international community, we all have a responsibility to respond to genocide and mass atrocity crimes and to help and support the Rohingya…Bangladesh cannot and should not bear this responsibility alone,” he said.

Saying that the cause of this crisis, and the ultimate resolution of this crisis is not here in Bangladesh, but in Myanmar, Tom observed that the international community must be manifesting this partnership with Bangladesh more fully, with stronger, sustained financial and technical support.

“The people of Myanmar need and deserve our support.

The international community cannot afford to ignore this crisis,” he added.

Tom said a stronger commitment of resources is required for the Rohingyas and host Bangladeshi communities while Bangladesh needs and deserves a stronger international partnership.

“As we approach the anniversary of the illegal military coup in Myanmar, I believe that there must be a fundamental reassessment of how we, as an international community, have responded to this crisis,” he said adding “This means consideration of options to increase pressure on the military regime”.

He lauded the security measures taken by the Bangladesh government for the relocated Rohingyas in Bhashan Char.

“Every Rohingya resident of Bashan Char Island who I spoke with was satisfied with the security and found relief in being free from the dangers that exist in the camps on Cox’s Bazar,” he said.

Tom also acclaimed that the Rohingya relocation to Bhashan Char is being taken place as voluntary basis without creating any pressure on Rohingyas sheltering at Cox’s Bazar.

The UN expert also praised Bangladesh for its great work in vaccinating against COVID-19 amongst the Rohingya refugee population, focusing first on those most vulnerable and recently expanding the vaccination drive.

He reiterated his profound appreciation and gratitude to Bangladesh for its humane response to the Rohingya in their time of great peril and need.

In his weeklong tour here, the UN special Rapporteur visited Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and Bhashan Char and held series of meeting with different agent and government officials including foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.