Bangladesh pledges for China’s support to repatriate Rohingyas

Dhaka: Bangladesh announced on Sunday that it was seeking China’s support to urge Myanmar for allowing more than 600,000 Rohingyas who fled sectarian violence in western Rakhine state to return.

“Bangladesh wants China to create pressure on Myanmar to exp1edite the process” of repatriation of the Rohingyas, a member of the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry who did not wish to be named told Efe news agecy.

The announcement comes after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Bangladesh to meet his Bangladeshi counterpart, Mahmood Ali, on Saturday.

Wang, who left the country on Sunday, told Ali that “as a friend China will help resolve the issue and will not be partial to any side”, according to a Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry statement.

The statement said the Chinese leader “stressed the importance of continued consultations and dialogue between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the issue. He acknowledged that Bangladesh is facing the brunt of continuing influx of Rohingya refugees”.

Ali, meanwhile, said that Bangladesh would continue its commitment to pursue a dialogue with Myanmar and find a solution to the crisis.

Bangladesh “look(s) forward to China’s support for the early return of the Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar with dignity and safety”, he said.

In its latest report released on Thursday, the UN Inter Sector Coordination Group estimated that 620,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh since more than two and a half months ago.

The crisis erupted on August 25, after an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group on police and military checkposts in the western state of Rakhine in Myanmar.

The Army retaliated with a violent campaign that is still ongoing and which the UN has called “ethnic cleansing”.

Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingyas as citizens and considers them illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, while Bangladesh, where 300,000 Rohingyas were already living before the latest crisis, also considers them to be foreigners.