Bangladesh rejects Myanmar's claim of repatriating Rohingya

Myanmar Muslims wash their clothes inside an internally displaced persons camp in Sittwe capital of western Myanmar's Rakhine state Sept. 1 2017

Rahim said the group became angry when Win Myat Aye said the Rohingya refugees must accept national verification cards to be provided by Myanmar in which they state they are migrants from Bangladesh.

Although the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights said last week conditions are "not yet conducive for returns to be safe dignified and sustainable", the Myanmar government said Saturday a family of five Rohingya were repatriated.

He further said that the paperwork meant a verification form of ID, which does not mean citizenship, something Rohingyas have been denied in Myanmar, where they have faced persecution for decades. He said, "by definition, this is not an official repatriation".

Though there has been no sign of repatriation yet, Myanmar claims work is proceeding steadily in this regard and necessary steps are in place to start the repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar. Rahim said the group presented 13 demands for the government to meet for their return to Myanmar.

The Bangladeshi government and the United Nations refugee agency Sunday disputed Myanmar's claim it had repatriated five members of a Rohingya family, saying neither the government of Bangladesh nor the aid agency had any involvement in any such repatriation.

The family, who was living in the Konarpara area of a no-man's land between the two countries, reentered Myanmar territory and was taken to one of the government's repatriation reception centers, he said.

Khan said Myanmar's move was "nothing but a farce".

Rohingya Muslims have always been treated as outsiders in Myanmar, even though their families have lived in the country for generations.

Myanmar has denied almost all allegations, saying it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.

"The widespread threat and use of sexual violence was integral to this strategy, serving to humiliate, terrorize and collectively punish the Rohingya community, as a calculated tool to force them to flee their homelands and prevent their return", he said in the report. The army has said its crackdown was provoked by the attacks of Rohingya militants on more than two dozen police posts and an army base last August.

"Myanmar's military has always been implicated in the country's ongoing ethnic armed conflicts, and the secretary-general's report notes that security force abuses against women and girls have also taken place in fighting in Kachin and Shan states", wrote Shayna Bauchner, coordinator of HRW's Asia division, in a statement issued Monday.

He was the first Myanmar representative to visit the makeshift crammed Rohingya camps in Coxs Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh after the latest exodus began in August past year.

The government of Myanmar, however, expressed concern over the news regarding the application by the ICC prosecutor to claim jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Muslims from Rakhine to Bangladesh.

The Myanmar government said the extension of jurisdiction is not in line with the ICC Charter and other global statutes to which the country is not a party.



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