Bangladesh’s Prime Minister said on Monday that the prolonged stay of more than 1 million Rohingya refugees in crowded camps in the country has become a serious security and stability concern.
“Apart from their own miseries, their prolonged presence is causing a serious impact on the economy, environment, security and sociopolitical stability of Bangladesh,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said at the opening of a three-day meeting of military officials from 24 countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
The U.S. is the co-host of the gathering, called the Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar, along with the Bangladesh Army.
While the militaries of the participating countries are discussing disaster management, transnational crime, security issues and women’s empowerment, Bangladesh is using the platform to highlight the issue of Rohingya refugees who have fled from violence in Myanmar.
Participants in the meeting, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Vietnam, will visit the Rohingya refugee camps to see their plight, said Gen. S.M. Shafiuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Army chief.
In total, Bangladesh is hosting more than 1 million Rohingya refugees.