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Myanmar ready to take back Rohingya refugees
07 October 2017, 12:30 | Colleen Roy
Bangladesh backs India's stand on Rohingya issue: Foreign minister Haque
Myanmar has tightly controlled access to the state since then, as the army kickback in the Buddhist-dominated country sent half a million Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is now sheltering 5,07,000 Rohingya refugees in the country.
"The Rohingya people must be able to return voluntarily with safety and dignity".
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".
Over the past weeks, almost 510,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have crossed Myanmar's borders into Bangladesh, where they are staying at refugee camps in the Cox's Bazar border district.
On a one-day visit organised by Myanmar authorities, United Nations officials, diplomats and aid groups were flown by helicopter to Maungdaw, epicentre of the violence.
Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, minister for disaster management and relief, said all the Rohingya would eventually be moved from 23 camps along the border and other makeshift camps around Cox's Bazar to the new zone.
The diplomats were also taken to Anaut Pyin village of Rathedaung township, a community of Rohingya Muslims who have not fled, said local police officer Moe Zaw.
This would be done according to criteria agreed in 1993, when tens of thousands of Rohingya were repatriated, she said.
"This flow out of Myanmar has not stopped yet, it's into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya (who are) still in Myanmar, we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus", said the UN's under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Mark Lowcock, in a Friday press briefing in Geneva.
The Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and most are stateless.
Three groups of diplomats were taken to three different areas on Monday, said Ye Htut, district administrator of Maungdaw in Rakhine.
Myanmar has repeatedly denied claims it is working deliberately to wipe out the Rohingya, saying they are carrying out counter attacks against "brutal acts of terrorism".
"If they treat us as equals, we would go back", he told AFP in a coastal town near the border.
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.
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