4 nations seek safety of Rohingyas, host communities in BD

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland on Thursday said a “safe and secure” situation in the Rohingya camps and surrounding areas in Cox’s Bazar must be upheld so that Rohingyas and host communities can feel safe and protected.Heads of Mission of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, in a joint press statement, laid emphasis on joint efforts by the international community to ensure repatriation of Rohingyas in “voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” manner.
“We note with concern that the conditions for return of the Rohingyas to Rakhine State in Myanmar in a voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable manner are not yet met,” they said.
The envoys said the international community must work jointly to urge and support steps by Myanmar towards a situation where this will be possible.
Danish Ambassador Winnie Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador Sidsel Bleken, Swedish Ambassador Charlotta Schlyter and Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Rene Holenstein made the statement after visiting Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We reiterate our high appreciation of the continued humanitarian and other assistance provided to the Rohingya refugee population by the Government and the people of Bangladesh, including by the local communities around Cox’s Bazar,” they said.
The Ambassadors commended the excellent work done by the humanitarian agencies in facing this crisis.
“The strong collaboration between the Bangladeshi Government, local actors and the international community through the UN, INGOs and NGOs has been key to this response,” said the envoys.
The diplomats said the UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs involved in the humanitarian response are playing instrumental roles in Cox’s Bazar, not only to alleviate the sufferings of the refugee population but also to support the host communities.
“We encourage the government of Bangladesh to continue its close collaboration with the humanitarian organizations, to preserve humanitarian operational space, and to enable them to function in a free and unimpeded manner and in a safe and secure environment,” they said.
The Ambassadors observed that the Rohingya population who have sought refuge in Bangladesh need safety, security and dignity.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, reports UNB.