Myanmar and Bangladesh sign refugee deal

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Myanmar and Bangladesh sign refugee deal

Dhaka - Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged Myanmar government for early repatriation of the Rohingya Muslims, who crossed into Bangladesh in their hundreds of thousands fleeing violence in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday met with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Naypyitaw.

More than 620,000 Rohingyas, a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar, have fled into Bangladesh, escaping what the United States on Wednesday termed "ethnic cleansing" by Myanmar's security forces.

The statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the strongest USA condemnation yet of the crackdown, accusing Myanmar's security forces of perpetrating "horrendous atrocities" against the group. Refugees have described horrifying acts of state-sponsored violence against the Rohingya, from the execution of civilians to gang rape and the mass destruction of entire villages.

The State Department says the cut in funding was based on a directive signed by President Trump in January banning funding for worldwide organizations or nongovernmental groups that provide abortion services or advice that includes abortion as an option.

Rohingya Muslims have been persecuted in Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, for decades, but the conflict and subsequent refugee flow has intensified in the a year ago.

"These Myanmar nationals are a burden on Bangladesh".

In its statement, Myanmar State Counsellor's Office said, "Western countries as well the OIC had portrayed the matter as an global issue by passing resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly".

The vast majority of the displaced Rohingya have fled to sprawling camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

In its report submitted to the Myanmar president on August 23, the commission noted that scrapping restrictions on movement in Rakhine and granting citizenship to its Muslim minority people could help avoid fuelling extremism and bring peace to the state.

The agency has so far deployed 42 midwives who have delivered more than 400 babies, says Mr. Coquelin.

In a further ratcheting up of pressure on Myanmar's military and civilian leaders, the United Nations envoy on sexual violence in conflict said on Wednesday that alleged atrocities against Rohingya women and girls by the military may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. "But right now it's taking a lot of time to get access to these services". The details of the accord are still sketchy, procedural disagreements on how to implement the plan remain, and not everyone is convinced simply sending the Rohingya back to where they were being slaughtered is the appropriate course of action.

Annan says during the papal visit the Holy Father will be "giving a voice to the voiceless", but he'll also be reasoning with the leaders in the Myanmar, as well as other groups there.

"We're trying to make sure whatever trauma that they've encountered that they have something to settle into that's dignified, that that makes them feel welcome and makes them feel that they are being looked after", Thakral says.

But on the other hand, he does say that a retreat by the U.S. on human-rights issues has had a noticeable impact on the ground in crises like that of the Rohingya. "This missing strong leadership is having a broad impact, including on an issue like women and girls".

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