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Myanmar: Rakhine not conducive for Rohingya return says UN

24th Jul 2019
Myanmar: Rakhine not conducive for Rohingya return says UN

By SM Najmus Sakib

 

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA): The situation in Rakhine state of Myanmar is not conducive for Rohingya Muslim repatriation, according to UN secretary general’s special envoy on Myanmar.

After paying a 10-day visit to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener made the observation in a meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque in Dhaka on Tuesday, local news portal Bangla Tribune reported.

Burgener described the ground reality in Rakhine as “not favourable for repatriation” at the meeting with the foreign secretary, it said.

During her visit to Rakhine, she had meetings with Myanmar government officials, diplomatic groups, representatives of local and international NGOs and UN team in Myanmar.

Burgener, however, visited places only permitted by the Myanmar government and got limited access in Rakhine state.

The UN envoy plans to visit Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on Wednesday, said a foreign ministry official.

In another development, Myanmar is expected to send a delegation led by its Foreign Secretary Myint Thu to visit the camps in Cox’s Bazar next week.

Persecuted people

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

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.”

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

[Photo: Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, from Rakhine State fleeing Myanmar army on 4 September 2017. Photographer: Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/AA]

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