World News

More time needed to verify Rohingyas: Myanmar minister

More time needed to verify Rohingyas: Myanmar minister

The agreement focused on the "safe, voluntary, and dignified returns" of Rohingyas, which will only take place "once conditions in Myanmar were conducive", according to a UNHCR statement cited by Efe news.

Ahead of the monsoon season in Bangladesh, which is expected in the next two months, United Nations agencies fear heavy land and mudslides on the hills where Rohingya live in makeshift houses.

Myanmar Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye, who heads rehabilitation efforts in Myanmar's troubled western Rakhine state, told about 50 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on Wednesday that getting the repatriation process moving was top priority.

"Since its establishment back in 2015, KSRelief has continued the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's long history of providing humanitarian assistance, and has closely cooperated with UNHCR by contributing US$45 million to date in response to a number of major displacement situations", Abdullah Al Rabeeah said after the signing. On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on "Physical Arrangement" which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement in November for the return of Rohingya refugees who are living in sprawling displacement camps in the southeastern part of the country.

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He added that, "Following the issuance of the Royal Directives to allocate $20 million in response to the most recent Rohingya crisis, KSRelief has initiated a number of key projects and has worked closely in coordination with UNHCR and the government of Bangladesh to attend to the most urgent humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees".

He is the first minister to visit Bangladesh after the latest exodus of Rohingyas began on Aug 25 a year ago.

Bangladesh, no stranger to the Myanmar military's paroxysms of ethno-nationalist violence, has historically provided shelter to the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority from next door.

Bensouka's argument - the first request of its kind filed at the ICC - is an attempt to assert jurisdiction over "deportation" of the Rohingya by Myanmar army soldiers during the crackdown.

Over 670,000 Rohingyas, a mainly Muslim minority living in Myanmar, fled the northwestern Rakhine state since the end of August after a wave of persecution and violence that the United Nations described as an attempt at "ethnic cleansing".


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