Rohingyas’ refusal unexpected, says FM
Published : Friday, 23 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 757
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has lamented the unwillingness of the Rohingya refugees to return to their homeland, two years after they fled across the border to Bangladesh in the face of a military-led crackdown in Myanmar.
He made the remarks after a second attempt to kick-start the repatriation process fell flat on Thursday due to the unwillingness of the
Rohingya families interviewed to return.
The government wanted the repatriation process to start on Thursday, said Momen. But the Rohingyas' refusal to go back to their homeland is 'disappointing' and 'unexpected', according to the minister.
But Momen sought until 4pm to declare the outcome of the efforts.
Asked about the consequence of a failed repatriation process, Momen said, "We will persist with our efforts. But we won't force anything."
"We are prepared. There weren't any shortcomings on our part. Myanmar will have to work on the bridging the lack of trust. We are full of optimism."
Officials from China and Myanmar are currently in the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar to oversee the repatriation efforts, said Momen.
Asked about the various placards displayed by the Rohingya outlining their demands along with the distribution of leaflets among the refugees to this end, the minister said, "We will identify those who are making these placards and leaflets."
"They've made various demands. But we can't be held hostage to their demands."