Myanmar repa­tri­ates one Ro­hingya fam­ily

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World -

BANGKOK — Myanmar has ac­cepted what ap­pears to be the first five among about 700,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lim refugees who fled to neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh to es­cape vi­o­lence against the mi­nor­ity group, even though the United Na­tions says it’s not yet safe for them to re­turn.

A gov­ern­ment state­ment said Satur­day five mem­bers of a fam­ily re­turned to Rakhine state from the bor­der area. The state­ment said author­i­ties pro­vided them with a na­tional ver­i­fi­ca­tion card. The card is a form of ID, but does not mean cit­i­zen­ship — some­thing Ro­hingya have been de­nied in Myanmar.

It said that the fam­ily was stay­ing tem­po­rar­ily with rel­a­tives in Maung­daw town, the ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­tre close to the bor­der.

The state­ment did not say if any more repa­tri­a­tions are be­ing planned. Bangladesh has given Myanmar a list of more than 8,000 refugees to be­gin the repa­tri­a­tion, but it has been fur­ther de­layed by a com­pli­cated ver­i­fi­ca­tion process.

The two coun­tries agreed in De­cem­ber to be­gin repa­tri­at­ing them in Jan­uary, but they were de­layed by con­cerns among aid work­ers and Ro­hingya that they would face un­safe con­di­tions in Myanmar.

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