Burma takes back Ro­hingya refugees

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

BURMA has ac­cepted what ap­pears to be the first five among some 700,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lim refugees who fled mil­i­tary-led vi­o­lence against the mi­nor­ity group.

This is de­spite the United Na­tions say­ing it is not yet safe for them to re­turn home.

A gov­ern­ment state­ment said five mem­bers of a fam­ily re­turned to west­ern Rakhine state from a refugee camp across the bor­der in Bangladesh.

The state­ment said that au­thor­i­ties deter­mined whether they had lived in the coun­try and pro­vided them with a na­tional ver­i­fi­ca­tion card – a form of ID that doesn’t equate to cit­i­zen­ship.

Ro­hingya have been de­nied cit­i­zen­ship in Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity Burma, where they have faced per­se­cu­tion for decades. The state­ment did not say if any more repa­tri­a­tions are be­ing planned.

Bangladesh has given Burma, also known as 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 be forced to re­turn and face unsafe con­di­tions in Burma.

Hun­dreds of Ro­hingya were re­port­edly killed in the re­cent vi­o­lence, and many houses and vil­lages burned to the ground. US PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump has again called for­mer FBI di­rec­tor James Comey a “slime­ball” ahead of the pub­li­ca­tion of his new book. In the book, A Higher Loy­alty, Mr Comey com­pares Mr Trump to a mafia don and calls his lead­er­ship of the coun­try “ego driven and about per­sonal loy­alty”.

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