Health Care

7 ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police open fire at riot

7 ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police open fire at riot”

Myanmar police shot dead seven demonstrators and 12 were injured in troubled Rakhine State, after a local gathering celebrating an ancient Buddhist Arakan kingdom turned violent.

Burma and Bangladesh signed an agreement in November to repatriate Rohingya and set up a working group last month to oversee the repatriation of people who had fled violence in the northern part of Rakhine state in the west of Burma.

"Bangladesh deserves credit for not forcibly returning Rohingya refugees, and for doing what it can with strained resources to provide safety for them for the time being", said Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director.

"Our involvement in the process and our full access to areas of return in Myanmar can help to build confidence for all concerned, including the refugees", said Vivian Tan, UNHCR's senior regional communication officer.

The UN and various human rights organisations have said there is clear evidence of rights abuses in Myanmar, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling the Army's operations "ethnic cleansing" and saying there were indications of "genocide".

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.

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Speaking to SkyNews, Twigg said: "We need massive reassurances before there can be any suggestion of refugees returning and any return must be genuinely voluntary". Rohingya say security forces, backed by hardline Rakhine mobs, torched hundreds of Rohingya villages and forced them to flee.

The current Rohingya exodus began when Myanmar's security forces launched a campaign in late August in response to the Rohingya rebels' attacks on security posts in Rakhine, home to an estimated one million members of the Muslim minority not recognized by the Myanmar authorities.

The Bangladesh statement said "Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop (the) outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh".

According to a Wednesday evening bulletin by the state broadcaster Myanmar Radio, Aye Maung had told a crowd that Myanmar's Bamar majority regarded Rakhine people as slaves and did not grant them equal rights. At least 30 people have died from the disease, .

Officials plan to start the repatriation process from January 23.



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