Bangladesh “has no obligation” to host 81 Rohingya Muslim refugees adrift for practically two weeks within the Andaman Sea and with the assistance of India, mentioned Bangladeshi Overseas Minister AK Abdul Momen.
The Indian coast guard discovered the 81 survivors and eight lifeless crammed right into a paralyzed fishing boat and had been attempting to rearrange for Bangladesh to take them away, authorities mentioned Friday.
However Momen advised Reuters late Friday that Bangladesh hopes both India, the closest nation, or Myanmar, the Rohingya’s house nation, will settle for them.
“They don’t seem to be residents of Bangladesh and, in actual fact, they’re residents of Myanmar. They had been discovered 1,700 km (1,100 miles) off the maritime territory of Bangladesh and due to this fact we’ve got no obligation to hold them,” mentioned Momen, who’s present in United States. State.
“They had been situated 147 km (91 miles) from Indian territory, 324 km (201 miles) from Myanmar,” he mentioned by cellphone, including that different nations and organizations ought to deal with the refugees.
Officers on the Indian Overseas Ministry didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Overseas Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava mentioned on Thursday that India was “in talks with the Authorities of Bangladesh to make sure their secure repatriation.”
New Delhi didn’t signal the 1951 Refugee Conference, which spells out the rights of refugees and state obligations to guard them. It additionally doesn’t have a regulation defending refugees, though it at present homes greater than 200,000, together with some Rohingya.
Greater than 1 million Rohingya refugees from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar dwell in camps crammed with Muslim-majority Bangladesh, together with tens of 1000’s who fled after the Myanmar army carried out a lethal crackdown in 2017.
Traffickers typically lure Rohingya refugees with guarantees of labor in Southeast Asian nations like Malaysia.
The United Nations refugee company, UNHCR, expressed alarm this week over the misplaced ship.
India mentioned on Thursday that round 47 of the ship’s occupants are in possession of identification playing cards issued by the UNHCR workplace in Bangladesh, indicating that they’re displaced Myanmar residents.
THERE IS NO “GLOBAL CONTRACT” TO HELP REFUGEES
The refugees have been adrift in worldwide waters after leaving southern Bangladesh on February 11 in hopes of reaching Malaysia.
On Saturday, they had been beneath the assistance and surveillance of India as officers held talks to return them to Bangladesh, mentioned the senior Indian official who will not be approved to talk to the media.
The ship, which left the large Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, was carrying 56 girls, eight women, 21 males and 5 boys.
Lots of the survivors, in keeping with the Indian authorities, had been sick and affected by excessive dehydration, having run out of meals and water after the ship’s engine failed 4 days after their voyage.
“Has Bangladesh been given the worldwide contract and accountability to grab and rehabilitate all of the Rohingya or ship folks of the world?” Momen mentioned. “Under no circumstances.”
Momen mentioned UNHCR must also take accountability, as many individuals on the ship have ID playing cards from the UNHCR workplace in Bangladesh.
“If (the refugees) are holders of a UNHCR card, why did they permit the traffickers to float their card holders out to sea and cause them to their deaths?
UNHCR officers weren’t instantly contacted for remark.