7 ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police open fire at riot


The UN refugee agency said it is not involved in the process but is willing to play a "constructive role" in the process if allowed, specifically in registering the refugees and helping determining whether they are returning to Burma voluntarily.

Several humanitarian organisations have repeatedly denounced the agreement on the grounds that conditions are not yet safe enough for the Rohingyas to return to Myanmar where some recent refugee arrivals have reported that the attacks were still ongoing. "Bangladesh and Myanmar recently discussed and finalised the text (of the agreement) to facilitate the return of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh", he said. Our experiences on the ground tell us that it is unlikely that Rohingya refugees will leave camps in Bangladesh if they face uncertainty about whether they or their families will be subjected to violence, abuse, and rape back in Myanmar.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an initial agreement last November to repatriate the Rohingya, and the 30-member working group was set up last month to oversee the process.

Tensions in Rakhine have risen since a sweeping Myanmar army operation in August inflamed communal tension and triggered an exodus of over 650,000 Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh.

"Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh", it said.

The Myanmar government has not issued its own statement after the meeting and government spokesman Zaw Htay was not immediately available for comment.

The Rohingya crisis erupted after Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts on August 25 in the western state of Rakhine triggered a fierce military response that the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing.

United States Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was consulted but it's very important the agency is fully involved to guarantee the repatriation adheres to worldwide standards.

Myanmar denies ethnic cleansing, saying its security forces had mounted legitimate counter-insurgency clearance operations.

Bangladeshi foreign secretary Mdshahidul Haque said the government had wanted Myanmar to accept 15,000 Rohingya each week - however, they eventually settled on 300 a day. This is a clear case of excessive use of force in violation of the right to life.