Give citizenship to Rohingya : European Commission (EC)

Chittagong, Bangladesh: European Commission (EC) has requested Burma to provide citizenship to Rohingya people and ensure their fundamental rights for a sustainable solution, said European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office’s Director General Esko Kentrschynskyj, according to Bangladesh food ministry press release on August 26.

“EC as well as the international community have been maintaining contacts to solve the problems of the ethnic community of Burma, while meeting Bangladesh’s Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque during a call on at the latter’s office on Sunday.”

EC have already talked to Burmese foreign and social welfare ministries, immigration and border forces on the Rohingya problem, according to Esko Kentrschynskyj.

Esko asked Dr Razzaquewhile meeting, EC wants to make sure that the Rohingya refugees are provided with humanitarian aid including food, nutrition and social security and helped for a sustainable solution.

Food Minister Abdur Razzaque said the government is trying its level best to ensure humanitarian assistance to the refugees.

However, continuing such help for long is very difficult for Bangladesh, the only solution of the Rohingyas is their returning home, the minister said.

Many Rohingya tried to enter Bangladesh, but Bangladesh border forces returned them in line with the government policy which could not accept the Rohingyas and sheltering them in Bangladesh would not bring any solution, according to food ministry press release.

It said there are still some 25,000 Rohingyas who took shelters in two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar two decades back, but are not returning. Besides, nearly 400,000 unregistered Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh.

We will go home back, if international community and Bangldesh authority ensure us that we will get our rights same as other ethnic are getting including citizenship, said a refugee elder from the camp when Kaladan Press asked. “We don’t want to stay here, if we get our rights.”

Razzaque asked the delegation led by Esko to deeply engage the international community for repatriation of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Disaster Management Division Secretary Dr M Aslam Alam, European Commission for Humanitarian Aid Office’s Charge De Affaires Andrew Barnard, its Dhaka office’s technical expert Oliver Brouant and Regional Support Office Head Peter Burgess were also present.

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