Myanmar, Bangladesh agree on return of Rohingya
YANGON - Anadolu Agency
Myanmar and Bangladesh on Nov. 23 signed an agreement for the return of Rohingya Muslims who have crossed the border to escape a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar's western Rakhine state since late August.
The memorandum of agreement titled "Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State" was signed after a two-day meeting in Myanmar's capital, Nay Pyi Taw.
"Myanmar signed deal with visiting Bangladeshi delegations today [Nov. 23]," Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary of Myanmar's Foreign Ministry told Anadolu Agency on the phone.
"We are ready to take them back. We can start the repatriation process very soon," he said.
The crackdown launched on Aug. 25 has seen more than 620,000 Rohingya cross from Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a military operation that has seen security forces and Buddhist mobs kill men, women and children, loot homes and torch Rohingya villages.
Speaking in September, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali said around 3,000 Rohingya had been killed in the operation.
The international community has been pressuring Myanmar government and military for an immediate end of atrocities and for the safe return of Rohingya who are now sheltering in Bangladesh.