Boris Johnson calls for safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Boris Johnson calls for safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

However, many refugees have refused to go back unless their safety can be guaranteed and Myanmar grants their demands to be given citizenship and inclusion in a list of recognised ethnic minorities. He cited security fears, continued discrimination and economic necessity.

Johnson met Myanmar's embattled unofficial leader, whose reputation among the global community has crumbled over her handling of the Rohingya crisis, in the capital Naypyidaw while on a four-day tour in Asia. While saying more proof was needed, he acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that "the elements of ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya existed.

The military's version of events is contradicted by accounts given separately by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.

Johnson toured a camp that has taken in some of the estimated 650,000 Rohingya who fled from violent attacks past year.

"This once more attests to the need for a full and thorough investigation by the authorities of all violence in Rakhine State and attacks on the various communities there", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. They will visit Rohingya camps and meet worldwide NGOs working in the Rakhine State, Myanmar civil society organisations, religious and political leaders as well as the media.

"This once more attests to the need for a full and thorough investigation by the authorities of all violence in Rakhine State and attacks on the various communities there", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in NY.

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Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed a deal for the refugees to return home, but repatriation has not begun yet.

The admission followed the arrests of two Myanmar journalists who were investigating the executions and face up to 14 years in prison on charges of possessing secret documents.

A month after the journalists' arrest, Myanmar's army issued a rare statement admitting that security forces took part in extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya "terrorists" in Inn Din village.

Media captionMyanmar must find a safe and dignified way for Rohingya Muslims to return, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said.

He will go on to Bangkok, Thailand, for talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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