Myanmar readies camp for returning Rohingya refugees, to accommodate around 30000

Seven ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police fire on riot

Seven ethnic Rakhine killed as Myanmar police fire on riot

More than 650,000 Rohingya fled northern Rakhine in the wake of a sweeping counteroffensive Myanmar army's launched in response to ARSA's attack on police and military outposts in the area in late August.

"Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop the outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh", the Bangladesh foreign ministry said.

The new initiative aims at supporting the identification and registration of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, at facilitating the provision of humanitarian support, as well as at ensuring the better protection of particularly vulnerable individuals.

He said Bangladesh and Myanmar could surely have bilateral talks and sign agreements, but the Rohingya crisis was no more a bilateral issue.

The UN refugee agency has warned "major challenges" must be overcome as a plan is announced to repatriate some 1,500 Rohingya Muslims per week from Bangladesh to Myanmar.

A statement from the Bangladeshi side said the pact "stipulated that the repatriation would be completed preferably within two years".

"They will not allow a single Rohingya to live there", he said. The working group officials also discussed the possibility of further ARSA attacks, which could undermine the repatriation process.

However, the agreement by the two neighboring countries have raised grave questions about the well-being of the Rohingya refugees and the feasibility of repatriation in the absence of a path to social and political integration- without which it will be tantamount to murder to send the refugees back to Myanmar where burning villages, throwing babies in fire and rape remain the prime oppression techniques by the Burmese army.

The UN and various human rights organisations have said there is clear evidence of rights abuses in Myanmar, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling the Army's operations "ethnic cleansing" and saying there were indications of a "genocide".

A statement by the Bangladesh foreign ministry did not say when the process would begin.

Refugees who crossed the border reported mass killings, gang rapes and arson, prompting the United Nations and rights groups to accuse Myanmar's army of possible crimes against humanity.

Abd-us-Salam, who is more than 100 years old, has fled three military crackdowns in Myanmar.

However, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was said to have objected to the idea of "pushing back" the Rohingyas and insisted that they should be arrested instead.

The World Food Program (WFP) also highlighted the concerns about food insecurity and undernutrition in Rakhine state in bordering Myanmar - home to a large Rohingya population - especially for the health of women and children.

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