Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

United Nations report puts Myanmar military on blacklist

United Nations report puts Myanmar military on blacklist

Myanmar today in a statement posted on the official Facebook page of the government's Information Committee said it has "repatriated" the first family of Rohingya refugees, among the 700,000 who fled a brutal crackdown in its Rakhine state.

Fleeing Rohingya refugees have reported killings, rape and arson on a large scale.

The recent spasm of violence began when Rohingya insurgents launched a series of attacks last August 25 on about 30 security outposts and other targets.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Government of Bangladesh finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Geneva on April 13 relating to voluntary returns of Rohingya refugees once conditions in Myanmar are conducive.

"I hope, Myanmar will repatriate all the families within the possible shortest time", the home minister said.

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"Five members of a Muslim family ... came to the Taungpyoletwea reception centre in Rakhine State this morning", the Burmese government said in a statement late on Saturday.

The pictures also show the family - one man, two women and a young girl and boy - receiving controversial national verification cards, which Rohingya activists have rejected, saying they are a way to deny Rohingya people citizenship. The Rohingya family had been living in a camp erected on a patch there [between the two countries].

He made the comment when asked about the return of a Rohingya family to Myanmar on Saturday.

In February, Bangladesh released a list of more than 8,000 Rohingya for repatriation.

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

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

Myanmar officials could not be reached for further details and the post did not say whether any more returns were expected soon.

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

Many have refused to take part in repatriation until they receive guarantees about their rights and citizenship.

Many of their original communities were burned to the ground in the violence that Doctors Without Borders says claimed at least 6,700 Rohingya lives in the first month alone.

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