Myanmar ready to take back Rohingya refugees

New York City Muslims and Jews March to Support the Rohingya

"Myanmar has made a proposal to take back the Rohingya refugees", the minister told reporters.

The two sides agreed on forming a joint working group to oversee the repatriation process but its composition would be decided later by both the countries, he said. He gave no details.

Authorities have restricted the movement of the refugees, banning them from leaving the overcrowded camp areas where hundreds of thousands are living in desperate conditions with inadequate shelter.

The visit comes amid heightened worldwide pressure on Myanmar to address accusations and evidence of deadly violence by the military against Rohingya Muslims in ravaged northern Rakhine state.

According to the United Nations, more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have poured into Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar since 25 August, having fled their homes after violence erupted in Myanmar's northern Rakhine province.

Syria's grand mufti sided with India over the Myanmar Rohingya crisis in a TV interview last week.

Monday's visit marks a thaw in the relationship, with the United Nations welcoming the trip as a "positive step" while reiterating "the need for greater humanitarian access". "Investigation of allegations of human rights violations needs to be carried out by experts".

The team had also urged government investment in Rakhine infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and internet access. "We have tightened security in those places with the No. 1 border police force along with the army".

Dozens of monks from Sri Lanka's majority Buddhist community led a mob that barged into a UN-run safe house for Rohingya Muslims and attacked them, claiming that they were terrorists and should be sent back to Myanmar.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi said last month that Myanmar would take back "verified" refugees - but many were forced to flee without any documents.

The United Nations on Monday welcomed the organization by the Myanmar government of a visit by three UN representatives to northern Rakhine, where a mass exodus of the Rohingya has caused global concern.

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

Rohingya boys are pictured reaching for humanitarian aid near Balukhali, Bangladesh.



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