Myanmar Repairs, Fortifies Fence on Bangladeshi Border

Myanmar Repairs, Fortifies Fence on Bangladeshi Border

Kyaw Tint Swe, Union Minister for Office of the State Counsellor, who led a three-member delegation to a meeting in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, made the proposal Monday to begin the process for repatriation. Food distribution in the vastly overcrowded settlements is still ad hoc and uncoordinated, the United Nations says, more than a month after refugees began pouring into southern Bangladesh to escape ethnic bloodshed in Myanmar.

Rohingya have long faced persecution and discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where the government denies them citizenship and considers them illegal immigrants. "Myanmar did not keep their word in the past, they stopped cooperating with Bangladesh for their repatriation".

Amnesty International has teamed up with Al-Jazeera to produce a virtual reality documentary to shine a spotlight on the escalating Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

Suu Kyi, who has been severely criticised for her failure to curb the military crackdown, said last month that Myanmar would take back "verified" refugees.

There was no immediate comment from Suu Kyi's representative, who was to return to his country on Monday. The joint working group has to be formed first.

Its forces launched an offensive in the north of Rakhine state in response to coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on Aug 25.

More news: HURRICANE MARIA: Trump blames Puerto Ricans for slow response to aid

The army insists they are interlopers from across the border in Bangladesh.

Asked if there was any timeframe fixed for forming the joint working group, the minister evaded a direct answer saying "the process has started" but said Bangladesh's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan would "soon visit Myanmar to discuss the issue".

In early September a reported 270,000 Rohingya had fled [press release] to Bangladesh since late August as a result of alleged human right violations.

In a speech to the UN General Assembly last month, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proposed creating UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect them.

Over half a million Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since the start of a military crackdown in the Myanmar border state of Rakhine. At the same time, Bangladesh has been pushing Myanmar to take back the refugees.

Myanmar has refused to grant access to the United Nations fact-finding mission but Suu Kyi appointed Annan previous year to lead an advisory commission and propose solutions.

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