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Myanmar ready to take back Rohingya refugees

Myanmar ready to take back Rohingya refugees

Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, minister for disaster management and relief, said all the Rohingya would eventually be moved from 23 camps along the border and other makeshift camps around Cox's Bazar to the new zone.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Friday said as many as 100,000 Muslim Rohingyas may have amassed near Myanmar's border to join the 515,000 refugees who have already fled to Bangladesh.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has blocked most access to the area, although some agencies have offices open in towns there and the International Committee of the Red Cross is helping the Myanmar Red Cross to deliver aid.

The UN has said the Myanmar army campaign against Rohingya Muslims was a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

With the number of refugees seeking shelter in Bangladesh exceeding 500,000, the Bangladesh government on Thursday declared its decision to identify the Rohingyas as "forcefully displaced Myanmar citizens".

Earlier, Bangladesh and Myanmar had agreed to form a joint working group, which will draw up plans for the repatriation process of Rohingya refugees.

The violence, backed by radical Buddhist monks, has left scores of Rohingya villages torched and completely destroyed.

Air France flight makes emergency landing after engine blowout
The plane landed safely at around 1:40pm local time with part of the engine missing and debris scattered across the runway. Passengers were horrified when the engine fell apart following a "loud thud" and "vibration".

A Myanmar official tally says hundreds of people died as violence consumed remote communities, including the Rohingya.

Swaraj had earlier expressed India's full support to Bangladesh's stance over the Rohingya issue as worldwide concern grows over the fate of the refugees.

He added that issues between the two countries should be solved "bilaterally, in an amicable manner, taking into consideration of the national interests of both nations".

IMO said it appealed this week to nations for 120 million dollars through March to provide desperately needed aid to the Rohingya refugees who have flooded into Cox's Bazar over the past six weeks.

The plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority who are reviled and denied citizenship in Myanmar, has roused anger across the Islamic world, with protests held in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Its insistence on verifying the Rohingya could prove a "stumbling block" to repatriation, according to Shahab Enam Khan, an global relations specialist at Jahangirnagar University.

"We demanded a halt to the genocide of the Rohingya", Hefazat spokesman Azizul Hoque Islamabad told AFP.

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