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Myanmar Says Rohingya Escapees Can Return from Bangladesh - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Myanmar told the United Nations refugee agency on Monday its top priority was to bring back Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh, but much work was needed to “consolidate stability” in its troubled northern region of Rakhine.

Win Myat Aye, Myanmar’s Union Minister, Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, addressed the UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) Executive Committee after UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi called for resolving issues related to Rohingya citizenship and rights.

“Our next immediate priority is to bring back the refugees who have fled to Bangladesh,” Win Myat Aye told the Geneva forum.

“The repatriation process can start any time for those who wish to return to Myanmar. The verification of refugees will be based on the agreement between the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments in 1993,” he said.

“Those who have been verified as refugees from this country will be accepted without any problem and with full assurance of their security and their access to human dignity.”

Bangladesh and Myanmar had agreed on Monday to set up a working group to plan the repatriation of more than half a million Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh to escape an army crackdown, Reuters cited the Bangladeshi foreign minister as saying.

The status of Rohingya remains unsettled in Myanmar where they are denied citizenship and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots in Myanmar that go back centuries, with communities marginalized and subjected to bouts of communal violence over the years.

Many refugees are gloomy about the prospects of going back to Buddhist-majority Myanmar, fearing they will not be able to furnish the documents they anticipate the government will demand to prove they have a right to return.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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