Narinjara News

UNHCR seeks local integration of 20,000 Rohingya refugees

Feb 24.

The government is processing a proposal by the United Nations High

Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) seeking local integration of about 20,000

Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh for more than a decade.

According to today The Independent, a senior official of the Ministry of

Disaster Management and Relief yesterday confirmed the developments and

said that the UN body had submitted the proposal on the ground that the

remaining Rohingya Muslim refugees, numbering about 20 thousand, were not

willing to go back to Burma.

25,00,00 Rohingya Muslims who crossed the Burma border to escape

persecution and took shelter in Bangladesh in 19911, all returned to Burma

voluntarily in 15 years except about 20 thousand who are yet to be


The repatriation process under the supervision of the UNHCR is now stalled

and the process began in August in 1991 following an agreement between

Bangladesh and Burma, now known as Myanmar.

The agreements on the refugee issues at different levels reached so far

between Dhaka and Rangoon demonstrated sincerity of both the signatories

to resolve the issue peacefully.

Bangladesh wants to see all the refugees go back safely and voluntarily to

their motherland, Burma.  Burma is willing to take back even the last one

of them.

The official said that the UNHCR had given the proposal in a concept paper

it had submitted to the government containing various dimensions of the

refugee problem.

The local integration of the refugees is one of the three internationally

established ways to resolve the problem. While two others are their safely

return to their homeland and their settlement in a third country.