Burma repatriates first Rohingya refugee family: government

UN Security Council envoys to visit Bangladesh Myanmar

A newly arrived Rohingya refugee mother feeds her daughter at a transit camp in Nayaprar refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

"Since the family did not enter Bangladesh, their return can not be considered repatriation".

According to the Rohingya Blogger, however, the individuals in the photos are the family members of the administrator of Taung Pyo Latya, the designated entry point for returning refugees.

The statement said that authorities determined whether they had lived in the country and provided them with a national verification card - a form of ID that doesn't mean citizenship that Rohingya have been denied in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they have faced persecution for decades.

The UN refugee agency has said conditions in Myanmar were not ready for the Rohingya refugees to return.

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

Several thousand Rohingya have been living in the zone since August, crammed into a cluster of tents beyond a barbed-wire fence that roughly demarcates the border zone between the two countries.

They are now believed to be staying temporarily with relatives in Maungdaw town.


That report stated that five members of a Muslim family had reached the reception centre at Taungpyoletwea.

Last week, the most senior United Nations official to visit Myanmar this year, assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Ursula Mueller, said the conditions in Myanmar were not conducive to the return of the refugees.

The agency said that in the absence of a tripartite agreement between UNHCR, Myanmar and Bangladesh, The UN agency has continued to engage with governments of both the countries in negotiations on two separate agreements meant to ensure that any future returns are conducted in line with the global standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity. However, the Myanmar government rejects the allegations of ethnic cleansing and stated the military only engaged in a justified campaign against Rohingya militants in Rakhine state.

Separately, Andrea Giorgetta from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) told AFP that the repatriation announcement is "a public relations exercise in an attempt to deflect attention from the need for accountability for crimes committed in Rakhine State".

She cited a continued lack of access to health services, concerns among the Rohingya about protection and continued displacements.

Last week, the most senior United Nations official to visit Burma this year, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller, said the conditions in Burma were not conducive to the return of the refugees.

"Another practical measure would be to ease restrictions on movement for the internally displaced persons encamped in the central townships of Rakhine state, which would also help to build confidence among refugees in Bangladesh", it added. The latest confirmed departure took place on Thursday.

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