B’desh silent on Canadian offer to take back Rohingya
Phnom Penh: Bangladesh did not accept an offer by Canada to take in Rohingya refugees, including women who were raped, Canadian officials said, as the South Asian country pushes ahead with controversial plans to repatriate the displaced to neighbouring Myanmar.
Several requests for comment were made to government officials in Bangladesh. A foreign affairs ministry spokesman and the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner declined to comment.
Canada offered to take in a limited number of vulnerable refugees, including victims of sexual violence, in May when Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland visited Bangladesh, according to Canadian officials, adding that the proposal still stands.
“Freeland said Canada was willing to discuss cases with Bangladesh,” a Canadian official involved in the response to the Rohingya crisis told.
“(Bangladesh Prime Minister) Sheikh Hasina said officials would look into it,” he said, adding that discussions between the two government were ongoing, facilitated by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
The UN human rights investigator on Myanmar urged Bangladesh on Tuesday to drop plans to start repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Rakhine state this month.