Monday, 23 July, 2018

Boris Johnson challenges Aung San Suu Kyi on Rohingya crisis

The 10 Rohingya men killed in Inn Din village in Myanmar's Rakhine state Sept. 2 2017 EU Parliament delegation goes to Myanmar, as evidence of genocide spreads
Faye Gross | 12 February, 2018, 01:16

On Sunday, Mr Johnson will hold talks with Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss the crisis and press for the end to the suffering in Rakhine and the safe and voluntary return of the refugees.

The Reuters report drew on interviews with Buddhists who confessed to torching Rohingya homes, burying bodies and killing Muslims in what they said was a frenzy of violence triggered when Rohingya insurgents attacked security posts last August.

The Myanmar government has faced global accusations of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign in Rakhine, with almost 700,000 Rohingya fleeing the area since last August amid reports of atrocities committed by troops and vigilante groups.

Neighbouring Bangladesh has agreed a timeframe with Myanmar for repatriating Rohingya people at a rate of 1,500 each week.

Action will be taken against 10 members of Myanmar's security forces in connection with the killing of captured Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, a government spokesman said yesterday, adding it was not related to a Reuters report on the incident.

Mr Johnson visited a refugee camp at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh ahead of his talks with Ms Suu Kyi.

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The Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament will visit Myanmar next week and go to the border with Bangladesh to gain a first-hand impression of current developments in the region.

"As with other, previous reports of mass graves, this report highlights the ongoing and urgent need for Burmese authorities to cooperate with an independent, credible investigation into allegations of atrocities in northern Rakhine", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

But aid agencies have joined the refugees themselves in expressing fears about the conditions and their rights and safety upon their return.

And the refugees are anxious about the conditions and their rights upon their return.

Mr Johnson paid tribute to the "hospitality and compassion" shown by the Bangladeshi government, and acknowledged the "enormous challenge" it faces in providing humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya community. It is looking at the problems in Rakhine state.

Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh must be allowed to return to their homes in safety, Boris Johnson has warned.

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