Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an agreement covering the return of Rohingya Muslims who fled across their mutual border to escape violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Myanmar announced the agreement on Thursday, but provided no details on how many Rohingya refugees would be allowed to return home or how soon that might happen.
More than 620,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when the army began “clearance operations” following an attack on police posts by a group of Rohingya insurgents.
The office of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said the agreement “on the return of displaced persons from Rakhine state” was signed Thursday by cabinet officials in Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s capital.
U.S. declares crisis ‘ethnic cleansing’
Rohingya Muslims have faced state-supported discrimination in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar for decades.
On Wednesday, the United States declared the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to be “ethnic cleansing,” threatening penalties for military officials engaged in a brutal crackdown.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed Myanmar’s security forces and “local vigilantes” for “intolerable suffering” imposed on the Rohingya. Although the military has accused Rohingya insurgents of triggering the crisis, Tillerson said “no provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued.”
The U.S. suspended government travel to Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.
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CBC | World News