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Myanmar military put on United Nations blacklist for sexual violence


An advance copy of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' report to the Security Council, obtained by AP, says global medical staff and others in Bangladesh have documented that numerous nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled from Myanmar "bear the physical and psychological scars of brutal sexual assault".

The Muslim minority has been massing in squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh since the Myanmar army launched a ruthless campaign against the community in northern Rakhine state last August.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in November to repatriate three-quarters of a million Rohingya by the end of the year but the deal has been delayed indefinitely, with each side blaming the other for a lack of preparation.

According to the Myanmar statement, immigration authorities provided the family with national verification cards, a form of ID that falls short of citizenship and has been rejected by Rohingya leaders who want full rights.

"The five members of a family. came back to Taungpyoletwei town repatriation camp in Rakhine state this morning, " the post said.

The US government and the United Nations describe the violence against the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing".

"The repatriated Rohingya family did not reach Bangladesh as they used to live on no-man's land", he said, responding to Burma's claim on Saturday that it had repatriated a family of five people who it said had been residing in Bangladesh.

If confirmed, this would be the first group of Rohingya repatriated to Myanmar since the crisis began.

So far, the family has not spoken to any news agency, while a spokesperson for Myanmar, Zaw Htay, maintained it was "not propaganda", and that the family made a decision to come back on their own.


"This is in no way a repatriation, rather it is propaganda,"he told Reuters on Sunday (April 15)".

Since August previous year, more than half a million Rohingya have undertaken perilous journeys to Bangladesh to flee persecution and violence in Burma. But it did not mention plans for further returnees expected in the near future.

Photos posted by the government showed one man, two women, a young girl and a boy receiving the ID cards and getting health checks.

Early this week, Myanmar Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye met with about 40 Rohingya refugees at the Kutupalong camp in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh for more than an hour, sometimes exchanging heated words.

Although the Rohingya have lived in Burma for many generations, most Burmese consider them unwanted immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and refer to them as "Bengalis", a term the Rohingya consider derogatory.

In January, Myanmar and Bangladesh finalised an agreement to send back thousands of Rohingya refugees.

Last week, the most senior United Nations official to visit Myanmar this year, the assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Ursula Mueller, said conditions in Myanmar were not conducive to the return of the refugees.

Myanmar authorities have since bulldozed over numerous charred villages, raising alarm from rights groups who say they are erasing evidence of atrocities and obscuring the Rohingya's ties to the country.

Many Rohingya refugees say they fear returning to a country where they saw their relatives murdered by soldiers and Buddhist vigilantes who drove them from their homes. Hundreds of Rohingya were reportedly killed in the recent violence, and many houses and villages burned to the ground.

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