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Former UN Chief Says Rohingya Must Return to Myanmar

Former UN Chief Says Rohingya Must Return to MyanmarFormer UN Chief Says Rohingya Must Return to Myanmar

Former UN chief Kofi Annan urged the Security Council on Friday to push for the return to Myanmar of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya who have been driven out in an army campaign.

Annan, who led an advisory commission to the Myanmar government, said world powers must work with the country’s military and civilian leaders to end the refugee crisis, AFP reported.

The Security Council is weighing action, possibly a resolution laying out demands, but diplomats have said China, a supporter of Myanmar’s former ruling junta, and Russia are opposed to such a measure.

“I hope the resolution that comes out urges the government to really press ahead and create conditions that would allow the refugees to return with dignity and with a sense of security,” Annan told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the council.

“They should not be returned to camps. They should help rebuild,” he said.

More than 500,000 people, mostly Rohingya, have since late August crossed into Bangladesh, fleeing military operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State that the United Nations has denounced as ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar authorities say they are rooting out Rohingya militants following attacks on police posts in late August.

The issue of the return of the Rohingya is shaping up as a major hurdle.

A recent report by the UN human rights office accused Myanmar of seeking to permanently expel the Rohingya, by planting land mines at the border with Bangladesh.

 

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