Bangladesh under no obligation to accept Rohingya refugees stranded at sea, minister says

Bangladesh is under “no obligation” to provide shelter for dozens of Rohingya Muslim refugees adrift for almost two weeks on the Andaman Sea, the country’s foreign minister has said.India’s coast guard has been assisting the 81 survivors, who were found crammed inside a crippled fishing boat alongside eight people who had died, and was trying to arrange for Bangladesh to take them, Indian officials said.But Bangladesh’s foreign minister, AK Abdul Momen, said his country expects India, the closest country, or Myanmar, the Rohingyas’ country of origin, to accept them.Read more“They are not Bangladesh nationals and, in fact, they are Myanmar nationals,” he told Reuters late on Friday.“They were found 1,700km away from the Bangladesh maritime territory and therefore, we have no obligation to take them.”Mr Momen said the refugees were 147km away from Indian territory and 324km away from Myanmar, adding other countries and organisations should take care of the refugees.External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday that India was “in discussions with the government of Bangladesh to ensure their safe and secure repatriation”.One senior Indian official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to discuss the matter with media, said India planned to help the refugees with food and water, but it was not planning to take them ashore.New Delhi did not sign the 1951 Refugee Convention, which spells out refugee rights and state responsibilities to p…. Read more:
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