Rohingya relocation to Bhasan Char starts next week
The process of relocating Rohingyas to Bhasan Char from Cox's Bazar camps will begin next week.
According to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Disaster Management, a group of Rohingya refugees is expected to go to Bhasan Char -- in the first phase -- by next week,
"About 500 Rohingya people are expected to go to Bhasan Char. Presently, 300 Rohingya are living there," a senior official of refugee rehabilitation and repatriation commissioner (RRRC) in Cox's Bazar said.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on October 18 told the media that the international NGOs, including UNHCR, were creating pressure against the Bhasan Char relocation programme even though some Rohingyas were willing to go there.
"But there's a pressure on us. UNHCR and other INGOs want to go for examination before relocation of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the government has built 120 cluster villages on 40 sqkm island under a Tk 2,312 crore housing project for one lakh Rohingyas at Bhasan Char.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink recently sought visits by UN technical and humanitarian protection teams in Bhasan Char though Rohingya leaders had expressed satisfaction over the situation there.
However, the actual date of relocation of the Rohingyas has not been set yet but preparation is on to send the refugees to Bhasan Char, he said.
A few Rohingyas would be sent there in the first phase while the rest would be sent in phases, he added.
On August 5, a team of 40 Rohingyas reached Bhasan Char, an island in Noakhali's Hatiya upazila, under the supervision of Bangladesh Army and Navy and it was coordinated by the RRRC office.
Some 750,000 Rohingyas fled brutal military campaign by Myanmar military. Despite two efforts, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated to Rakhine state, with the refugees saying the conditions in Rakhine were not conducive and safe for return.