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Bangladesh, Myanmar joint group to oversee Rohingya repatriation

03 October 2017

Local officials in Rakhine said Monday's tour included meetings with relatives of victims allegedly killed by militants during the violence against Hindu, Mro and Daignets minority communities in Maungdaw township.

Suu Kyi, who has been severely criticised for her failure to intervene in a military crackdown on the Rohingya, said in a speech last month that Myanmar would take back "verified" refugees.

Win Myat Aye, Myanmar's minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, told the U.N.'s refugee agency in Geneva on Monday that the ministry's "next immediate priority" was to return the refugees, Reuters reported.

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The two sides also agreed on forming a joint panel to oversee repatriation of the recently arrived Rohingya Muslims, who have either been living in squalid camps or out in the open with only a tent on their head.

More than half a million Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh following recent violence.

The collective statement by embassies including the US, UK, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Germany, released after the trip on Monday afternoon said as friends of Myanmar they remained ready to work with the Myanmar government to help Rakhine reach its potential and supported the full implementation of the recommendations made by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

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Amidst the ongoing Rohingya crisis, the centre has approved two immigration check points along the borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Global aid groups fear tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who remain in northern parts of Rakhine are in urgent need of food, medicine and shelter after over a month of military operations.

"We have received news about possible terror attacks in ethnic villages in south and north of Maungdaw", he said. "The majority are mostly poor who are leaving and have nothing to eat", said Lewa.

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The United Nations termed the brutality as "Textbook of ethnic cleansing" with its head Antonio Guterres calling Myanmar for time and again to stop violence.

"If they treat us as equals, we would go back", he told AFP in a coastal town near the border.

Foreign Minister Ali, briefing media persons later, disclosed about Myanmar's proposal to take back its nationals. Those fleeing have described indiscriminate attacks by security forces and Buddhist mobs.

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Bangladesh, Myanmar joint group to oversee Rohingya repatriation