Bangladesh says Myanmar makes proposal to take back Rohingya refugees

Laura Christensen
October 3, 2017

Rohingyas, a Muslim minority, do not qualify for Myanmar citizenship even though many have lived there for generations while its army insists they are interlopers from across the border in Bangladesh.

"Starting on Tuesday, they left their region, claiming that they felt insecure to remain because they were now living in a sparsely populated area, as most of their relatives had left for Bangladesh", the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported. "Myanmar did not keep their word in the past, they stopped cooperating with Bangladesh for their repatriation".

According to him, both sides made a decision to form a joint working group soon which will draw up plans for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

The crisis over Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya is the biggest problem national leader Aung San Suu Kyi has had to face since forming a government a year ago after winning a landmark election in late 2015.

Suu Kyi, who has been severely criticised for her failure to curb the military crackdown, said last month that Myanmar would take back "verified" refugees.

"And Bangladesh has proposed (signing) a bilateral agreement for executing the repatriation process".

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The Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

"Our next immediate priority is to bring back the refugees who have fled to Bangladesh", Win Myat Aye told the Geneva forum.

Tint Swe, a representative of Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, once a democratic icon castigated for her inaction to save the minority Muslims in her country, arrived in the early hours.

An estimated 507,000 Rohingya Muslims cross the border into Bangladesh's south-eastern Cox's Bazar district after Burmese military launched a crackdown on suspected Muslim insurgents on August 25.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for an end to the violence and for safe zones to be set up in Myanmar to enable refugees to return. "It is important for the Myanmar security forces to handle the situation with restraint, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population", an Indian High Commission statement quoted the Indian representative as telling the council's 36th session on Friday.

Other reports by My Hot News

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