Repatriation of Rohingya a priority for Myanmar government: official
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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
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