US seeks dignified return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Some 625,000 Rohingya refugees have fled the Rakhine state of Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh in the last six months.
Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar (File | AP)
Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar (File | AP)

(Eds: Repeating after rephrasing intro)By Lalit K JhaWashington, Dec 20 (PTI) The US has appealed for adignified and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees fromBangladesh to Myanmar, but said that conditions are notconducive enough for such a move.

Some 625,000 Rohingya refugees have fled the Rakhinestate of Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh in the last sixmonths after the Myanmar army launched a crackdown.

"In terms of the repatriation plan, we'd like to see theplan. We've heard about it in concept, but one of the thingsthat would be important to be in that plan is the voluntary,safe and dignified return," State Department spokespersonHeather Nauert told reporters here.

"It (repatriation) has to be voluntary. People have tofeel like it's safe to go home. If they don't feel like it'ssafe to go home, it's probably not going to be safe to gohome. They have to have a dignified return. That meanstreating the people well as they decide to return home," shesaid.

Insisting that repatriation needs to be voluntary, shesaid the refugees can't be forced to leave one country to goto another country.

"They have to feel safe and ready to go home. We hopethat the refugees will eventually be able to go home to Burma.

More than 600,000 of them have been forced across the bordersince August alone, and now it's December," she said.

Nauert also said that Bangladesh has been so generous inaccepting hundreds of thousands of refugees and the USgovernment has provided significant financial assistance. PTILKJ AJRCPS.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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