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Sunday, April 12, 2015, Chaitra 29, 1421 BS, Jamadius Sani 21, 1436 Hijr

BD looks for alternative routes to evacuate its nationals trapped in Yemen
Published : Sunday, 12 April, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 125

Diplomatic Correspondent
Bangladesh is looking into alternative route for ferrying the Bangladeshi expatriates stranded in war-torn Yemen.
Bangladesh also sought International Organisation of Migration (IOM) to rescue the rest of the Bangladeshi nationals from Yemen, if necessary by chartered vessels.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told journalists on Saturday that if necessary Bangladesh would not hesitate to charter vessels to evacuate its nationals from war-torn Yemen. He made the statement as India has formally called off its rescue operations.
"We are ready to do everything possible. The problem is the protracted civil war. Foreign vessels are hesitant to anchor ships at any port in Yemen," the foreign secretary said while briefing the press on Yemen situation Saturday.
Meanwhile, after hectic efforts by the authorities, 10 more Bangladeshis who were rescued from Yemen has arrived in the capital on Saturday evening from Djibouti, a tiny state on Red Seas.
Haque said that 56 more stranded Bangladeshis have finally reached Djibouti from Eden port boarding an Indian Navy ship last week.
According to statistic received Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) informed that a total of 360 Bangladeshis have been evacuated from Yemen to Djibouti since the turmoil began in Yemen on March 26 through the measures taken by the ministry of foreign affairs.
Haque said a total of 272 Bangladeshis returned to Djibouti from Al Hudaydah, a port on Red Seas by Indian naval ship earlier. Of them, 261 are male, five female and five are children.
"The rest were on board a Kerala-bound Indian cruise ship. We'll bring them from Kerala," he said.
"Although conducting such rescue operation in the war ravaged country is so completed, the government did not waste time to approach different organizations and countries to help evacuate Bangladeshi nationals from Yemen," Shahidul Haque added.
He said that Bangladesh has officially contacted International Organisation of Migration (IOM) to rescue the rest of the Bangladeshi nationals from Yemen, if necessary by chartered vessels.
He said the situation turned so volatile that even the ships of IOM, the UN migration agency, for assisting Bangladesh could not touch base.
According to foreign ministry, the number of Bangladeshis in Yemen is between 1,500 and 2,500, mostly in Aden and rest in capital Sana'a, which has been over run by Houthi rebels 4 weeks ago.
He said they have planned "alternative" measures, including taking IOM's support, to bring back 500 nationals listed as willing to leave Yemen.
Bangladesh has set up a 'Repatriation Control Room' in Djibouti, a tiny East African country near Yemen.
Bangladesh's Kuwait-based diplomats are conducting repatriation process from Djibouti as Dhaka has no mission in Yemen or Djibouti.
The foreign secretary said they have also spoken to the Saudi authorities about evacuating Bangladeshis from Yemen.CEC pledges fair polls at any cost
Decision on army deployment in Ctg after Apr 19
Staff Correspondent
CHITTAGONG, Apr 11 : The Election Commission (EC) is determined to hold the election free and fair at any cost. Rigging and ballot box hijack will be resisted with iron hand, said the Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed.
Meanwhile, the EC has not yet taken any decision of deployment of Army during the upcoming city corporation elections.
The CEC was exchanging views with the mayoral and councillor aspirants at Hall 24 in Chittagong on Saturday.
During the exchange of views, several candidates demanded the deployment of Army during the election in order to stop rigging.
In reply the CEC said that they would hold a meeting with law enforcing agencies on April 19. Twelve Mayor candidates including Awami League-endorsed AJM Nasir Uddin, BNP-supported M Manjur Alam and Jatiya Party's Solaiman Alam Sheth, 61 lady councilors and 212 Councilors contestants attended the meeting.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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