Rohingya repatriation marked with apprehensions

Myanmar signs Rohingya return deal with Bangladesh

A Labor official from Myanmar says the country is ready to accept them back once paperwork is completed - but there is no timeline for the move. "After careful and thorough analysis of the facts", Tillerson said in a statement, "it is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine State constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya".

The determination increases pressure on the Trump administration to consider "possible targeted sanctions" against Myanmar's government and those blamed for the crisis.

"No provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued".

Earlier, the foreign ministers of Asian and European countries, in general, agreed in many areas on Rohingya issue and asked for immediate cessation of hostilities, halting of outflow, early return of externally displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh.

Myanmar had been under broad Western sanctions for almost thirty years until 2016, when President Barack Obama rolled back USA economic sanctions after the country formed its first democratically-elected civilian government - though the military still retains significant residual power after decades of rule.

Human rights groups have for months documented horrendous atrocities Myanmar forces carried out against the ethnic minority Rohingya Muslim groups, including gang rape, torture, and murder.

Myanmar's government has repeatedly rejected claims that atrocities, including rape and extrajudicial killings, are occurring in northern Rakhine, the epicenter of the violence that the United Nations has qualified as "textbook ethnic cleansing".

"It's a process that takes a lot of time, for women who have experienced and seen what they've seen to regain their confidence" and eventually think about going back to their homes, he says.

The term "ethnic cleansing" does not carry with it any required response under US or global law, unlike the terms "crimes against humanity" and "genocide".

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"Many refugees have suffered direct attacks including loved ones, children and husbands being killed in front of them, wives and daughters being raped, burns and other horrific injuries", Senator Jeff Merkley told a press conference at the US embassy in Yangon.

The foreign minister said he would give details of the arrangement at a press briefing in Dhaka tomorrow.

The premier made the call at a time when Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali was pursuing a deal with Myanmar to being the process of repatriation of the Myanmar's minority Muslims.

In a brief statement, Bangladesh said it had agreed to start returning the refugees to mainly Buddhist Myanmar in two months.

"Nothing can be done overnight, but we believe that we will be able to make steady progress", she said.

Rohingya Muslims have been persecuted in Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, for decades, but the conflict and subsequent refugee flow has intensified in the previous year.

For instance, Britain, the US' closest ally has recently come forward to address the Myanmar government's role in a "major humanitarian crisis". Sweeping economic sanctions wouldn't focus on punishing the officials responsible, and could derail Myanmar's slow economic emergence to the rest of the world just as it slowly opens up from decades of military rule, the official said.

"We're continuing our bilateral talks with Myanmar so that these Myanmar nationals [Rohingya] could return to their country", Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was quoted as saying by the United News of Bangladesh news agency.

"Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable".

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