Rohingya refugees to return home if granted citizenship rights in Myanmar

More than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya have fled an offensive by Myanmar troops launched nearly a year ago in reprisal for attacks on border posts by Rohingya rebels. 

Published: 17th July 2018 09:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2018 09:43 PM   |  A+A-

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. (File Photo | AP)

By AFP

UNITED NATIONS: Myanmar's Rohingya refugees have told a UN envoy who visited their camp in Bangladesh this week that they will return home if it is safe and if they are granted citizenship rights, a UN statement said Tuesday.

UN envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, met the Muslim Rohingya in Cox's Bazar during a three-day visit to Bangladesh from July 14 to 16, just weeks after holding talks with Myanmar's leaders on the refugee crisis.

The envoy "heard from the people accounts of unimaginable atrocities committed in Rakhine State," said a UN statement.

"Despite these serious violations of human rights, they expressed to the envoy their hope to return home if security could be guaranteed and citizenship could be provided," it added.

More than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya have fled an offensive by Myanmar troops launched nearly a year ago in reprisal for attacks on border posts by Rohingya rebels. 

UN rights officials have documented allegations of mass killings, rape and torching of villages at the hands of Myanmar's military, which the Myanmar authorities have denied.  
The United States, Britain and France as well as the United Nations have described the military campaign as ethnic cleansing.

Schraner Burgener, who was appointed in April, said Bangladesh needs more international aid to host the Rohingya and tackle the risk of landslides from monsoons that have already killed 12 people near the camps.

The envoy will deliver her first briefing to the Security Council on Monday, which will be held behind closed doors.

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