Government: Myanmar Repatriates First Rohingya Refugee Family


The comments come amid the repatriation of the first Rohingya family back to Myanmar.

Myanmar set up two reception centres and what it says is a temporary camp near the border in Rakhine to receive the first arrivals. The United States and the United Nations have described the Myanmar military operation as ethnic cleansing.

Reuters reported that Myanmar has denied almost all allegations, saying it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.

The agency said that in the absence of a tripartite agreement between UNHCR, Myanmar and Bangladesh, The UN agency has continued to engage with governments of both the countries in negotiations on two separate agreements meant to ensure that any future returns are conducted in line with the worldwide standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity.

The Rohingya exodus has created a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, a small, poor country that is one of the most densely populated in the world. After months of delays, five members of a Rohingya family on Thursday went back to Rakhine.

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It is being said, the family members were issued National Verification Cards (NVCs) upon entering Myanmar.

Images accompanying the social media post on Saturday showed five individuals receiving identification cards - which do not grant citizenship - from uniformed Myanmar officials, and getting medical help and living provisions from health and social workers. Bangladesh has given Burma a list of 8,000 refugees to begin the process.

A new United Nations report puts Myanmar's armed forces on a United Nations blacklist for carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence.

Although the Rohingya have lived in Burma for many generations, most Burmese consider them unwanted immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and refer to them as "Bengalis", a term the Rohingya consider derogatory.

On Saturday the UN's refugee agency said in a statement that conditions are not yet conducive for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees.

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Waves of violence have forced Rohingya out of Burma over the past several years, with more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees already in Bangladesh before last year's exodus.

A newly arrived Rohingya refugee mother feeds her daughter at a transit camp in Nayaprar refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

"Before proceeding with the repatriation of Rohingya, the Myanmar government must recognise and guarantee all their fundamental human rights", he told the news agency. The Associated Press has obtained an advance copy of the report presented by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council which states "The widespread threat and use of sexual violence was integral to this strategy, serving to humiliate, terrorise and collectively punish the Rohingya community, as a calculated tool to force them to flee their homelands and prevent their return".

Meanwhile boats carrying Rohingya from Rakhine state continue to leave Burma.

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