Refugees: Myanmar, Bangladesh to cooperate

Yangon: Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to work together to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees, officials said, but details remain thin as the humanitarian crisis deepens.
Ties between the neighbours have been severely strained by army-led violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state that has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh since late August.
Dhaka and the UN have accused Myanmar’s army of ethnic cleansing and called for the full repatriation of the Muslim minority, who have crammed into makeshift camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district.
Washington is also pressing for targeted sanctions against Myanmar military officers involved in the violence.
After talks in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw on Tuesday, Bangladesh’s Home Ministry said Myanmar had agreed to stop the outflow of Rohingya and take back all refugees.
“Myanmar has agreed to stop continuous entry of displaced Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh and to bring normalcy back to the Rakhine State,” the Home Ministry said in a statement.
But Myanmar offered a more measured commitment, saying only that refugees would need to be scrutinised for proof of their roots in Rakhine state.
“We cannot say when we are going to receive (the refugees),” Tin Myint, from Myanmar’s Home Ministry, told reporters after the meeting. — AFP