Rohingya crisis humanitarian, security issue: B'desh minister

18 Sep 2017

The Rohingya crisis is both a humanitarian and security issue, Bangladesh minister Mohammed Shahriar Alam today said and did not rule out the possibility of links between Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and "foreign terrorist organisations".

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condemned the attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state, he said, adding "We condemn the attacks (on Myanmar security forces) and we will continue to do so in the future." According to the UN estimates, over 3,79,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state and arrived in Bangladesh since the militants' attacks on Myanmar security forces on August 25 sparked a major military backlash. About the security aspect of the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh's minister of state for foreign affairs said: "We are not aware of any linkages because it is taking place in a foreign land". "But this terrorist organisation, if not linked, may be inspired by other terrorist forces and we don't reject the idea of they being linked to foreign terrorist organisations," Alam said.

Bangladesh, which is facing a big influx of Rohingyas, has called on the international community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the issue. Alam, however, said as of now, the influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar will not have an impact on Bangladesh's economy. "We don't feel that this will have an impact. As our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said if the country can take care of its own population then it can also take care of eight - 10 lakh (Rohingyas)," he said.

"She (Hasina) had said that on humanitarian grounds. But we don't want to see this (influx) continue. We want a solution to the problem," Alam said.