April 23, 2018

Myanmar police kill 8 protesters in Rakhine State

20 January 2018, 03:55 | Franklin Nunez

Rohingya Muslims return to Myanmar puts them at 'grave risk', say UK MPs

Rohingya refugee

The Myanmar police have filed charges against a parliament member and a writer for giving instigative talks about Rakhine sovereignty in Yathedaung, the country's western Rakhine state, Myanmar News Agency reported Thursday.

Myanmar has agreed to accept 1,500 rohingya every week, adding that it aims to return all of them to Myanmar within two years.

There is a "grave risk" in plans for repatriation for Rohingya refugees to Myanmar without the understanding of their legal status, destination and willingness to return, a parliament committee report said.

Myanmar said it would build a transit camp that can house 30,000 returnees.

Under the November agreement, Rohingya will need to provide evidence of their residency in Myanmar in order to return-something many say they do not have.

According to a statement released by the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the repatriation will be completed [press release] within two years from the commencement.

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United States Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was consulted but it's very important the agency is fully involved to guarantee the repatriation adheres to worldwide standards.

Rakhine is also home to minority Rohingya Muslims, who have long faced persecution that has seen about 650,000 people driven away from their homes into Bangladesh since August.

"Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh", it said. Zaw Htay said at least 500 Hindus and 500 Muslims will be in the first group to return. Myanmar's army described it as "clearance operations" against terrorists, but the UN and the United States have called it "ethnic cleansing".

Rakhine State government secretary Tin Maung Swe told RFA the incident occurred at the town's government office.

"Without investigation, transparency, and accountability for crimes against the Rohingya, any discussion of repatriation is a nonstarter".

Myint Kyaing, permanent secretary at Myanmar's Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, told Reuters earlier this month Myanmar would be ready to begin processing least 150 people a day through each of the two camps by January 23. This is a clear case of excessive use of force in violation of the right to life.

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