Myanmar ready to take back Rohingya refugees

A Bangladeshi soldier gestures as a Rohingya refugee child waits to receive his daily meal at a food distribution in Balukhali refugee camp near Gumdhum

Myanmar's Rohingya beg for help: 'People are starving'

STRESSING THAT he has not seen any sign of radicalisation among Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque Friday said that he would not comment on India's move to deport them but hoped that "in the end... humanitarian issues will get due consideration".

Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, attends a news conference on his visit to Bangladesh for the Rohingya refugee crisis, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 6, 2017.

Rohingya civilians began fleeing Myanmar after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts there on August 25, prompting security forces to launch a counter-offensive which the United Nations has described as "a textbook case of ethnic cleansing".

Myanmar has closed most access to the area, but a couple of agencies have offices open there and the International Committee of the Red Cross is helping the Myanmar Red Cross to deliver aid.

Myanmar has tightly controlled access to the State since last month when attacks by Rohingya militants prompted an army kickback that has sent about 5,15,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.

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Under pressure, Myanmar has set up a working group with Bangladesh to facilitate the return of Rohingyas which Bangladesh calls "forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens".

Bloody riots in 2012 forced over 100,000 Rohingya to flee to refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh, where many still live.

Three groups of diplomats were taken to three different areas on Monday, said Ye Htut, district administrator of Maungdaw in Rakhine.

"We saw villages that had been burned to the ground and emptied of inhabitants".

The Myanmar government has claimed that the Rohingyas are Bengali immigrants from the Indian subcontinent and has denied them citizenship.

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Its insistence on verifying the Rohingya could prove a "stumbling block" to repatriation, according to Shahab Enam Khan, an worldwide relations specialist at Jahangirnagar University.

Mohammad Amin, who arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday with two neighbours in a rickety boat, said he would consider returning if their safety was guaranteed. "We want them to go back as soon as possible", he added. "The problem has been created in Myanmar and solution has to be found in Myanmar".

Nurul Amin, a labourer who also arrived Sunday by boat with six of his family members, said they fled after Buddhist mobs threatened them with violence if they did not leave.

"We demanded a halt to the genocide of the Rohingya", Hefazat spokesman Azizul Hoque Islamabad told AFP.

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