Rohingya refugees come out of their homes after the visit of Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at Jamtoli refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The Myanmar state minister overseeing the planned repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh said Thursday, April 5, 2018 that he hopes to talk to them when he makes a visit there this month. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
Rohingya refugees come out of their homes after the visit of Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at Jamtoli refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The Myanmar state minister overseeing the planned repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh said Thursday, April 5, 2018 that he hopes to talk to them when he makes a visit there this month. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)

Repatriation of Rohingya a priority for Myanmar government: official

By Time of article published Apr 11, 2018

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Dhaka - A senior Myanmar official says the quick repatriation

of Rohingya Muslims, who fled in their hundreds of thousands to

neighbouring Bangladesh after last year's brutal military crackdown,

is a priority for his government.

"The most important thing is to start the repatriation process as

soon as possible," Win Myat Aye, a cabinet minister for social

welfare, relief and resettlement, told reporters on Wednesday after

visiting a refugee camp in the south-eastern Bangladeshi district of

Cox's Bazar.

Aye is the first Myanmar official to visit the refugee camp after a

violent military crackdown forced nearly 700,000 members of the

minority Rohingya population to cross into Bangladesh.

"We can overcome all the difficulties," he said, acknowledging the

complexities that have so far stalled the process of repatriation.

Authorities are blaming the time it takes to construct new

accommodation for the delay, as well as difficulty in verifying the

identities of willing returnees.

There are also concerns for their safety upon returning.

Aye did not give any specific time to begin the process, which was

supposed to have begun in late January after Bangladesh and Myanmar

inked a repatriation deal in November.

The Myanmar military has been accused of carrying out arson attacks

on Rohingya villages, killing hundreds of people and abusing Rohingya

women and children. The United Nations has dubbed the crackdown

"ethnic cleansing."

DPA

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