Myanmar police kill 8 protesters in Rakhine State

Rohingyas’ return from Bangladesh should be voluntary says UN

Bangladesh says it has agreed on a timeframe with Myanmar for repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled an army crackdown previous year.

Bangladesh has agreed to complete the process of returning Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar within two years after repatriation begins, the south Asian nation said on Tuesday, following a meeting of the neighbours to implement a pact signed last year.

Many have questions whether Rohingya would return to Myanmar under the current circumstances, and whether Myanmar would accept them and allow them to live freely.

The UN and rights groups have urged the Burmese government to ensure the safe and voluntary return of the Rohingya refugees.

The talks, organized by the May Yu Yin Thwe social service society to mark the 233rd anniversary of the fall of Rakhine Kingdom and the loss of sovereignty, took place Monday at a monastery in the township.

"Although the government said security forces tried to disperse people according to police procedures, certain issues remain, such as, why would they fire on unarmed people, and whether the protesters really did commit acts of violence".

The violence prompted an ethnic Rakhine rebel group in the state to promise "serious" retaliation for the deaths of the protesters.

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They also insisted on creating demilitarised United Nations safe zones in northern Rakhine State, as an interim measure, in order to guarantee security of life, property and dignity of the persecuted people, and restoring full Myanmar citizenship of the Rohingya. They are generally called "Bengalis", a reference to the belief that they migrated illegally from Bangladesh. "Until they consider us citizens we won't go back", he said. "They should return our land and also rebuild our homes", he said.

"Myanmar has reiterated its commitment to stop outflow of Myanmar residents to Bangladesh", it said.

Bangladeshi authorities recognized some over 30,000 Rohingyas as refugees shortly before the onset of the latest round of crisis.

Myanmar stressed the need for both sides to take preventive measures against possible Rohingya attacks and said it gave Dhaka a list with the names of 1,000 alleged militants.

"Without investigation, transparency, and accountability for crimes against the Rohingya, any discussion of repatriation is a nonstarter".

Speaking to Frontier on Thursday, Zaw Htay confirmed Aye Maung's arrest and said he had been "handed over to authorities to file a lawsuit". It would be the first camp built in the repatriation process.

The crisis erupted after Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts on August 25 in Rakhine triggered a fierce military response that the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing.

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