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ASEAN sees new hopes for Rohingyas as UN chief meets Aung San Suu Kvi

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday met Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kvi and pushed her to take steps to ensure a dignified and safe return of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who have fled the country to Bangladesh and neighboring countries following violence against them. Separately on the margins of the ASEAN summit here, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also met Suu Kyi and discussed the humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine state.

In his meeting with Myanmar’s State Counselor, the UN Secretary-General highlighted the need for allowing the return of displaced Muslims who have fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The Rohingya issue also figured during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump last night.

“The Secretary-General and the State Counselor discussed the situation in Rakhine State. The Secretary-General highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential,” the UN said in a statement.

Over 6,00,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar’s Rakhine state since late August after large-scale violence. The crisis erupted after Rohingya rebels attacked police posts in Rakhine, triggering a military crackdown that saw hundreds of villages reduced to ashes and sparked a massive exodus.

Guterres also mentioned about the issue at an ASEAN-UN meeting. “It is a worrying escalation in a protracted tragedy and a potential source of instability in the region,” he said.

“Myanmar specifically said one, they are in process of attending to Kofi Annan report. Two, they welcome humanitarian assistance. And that the process of repatriation of (Rohingya) would conclude after signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Bangladesh,” Roque told a press conference.

It should be noted that Rohingya’s have no rights in Myanmar and are considered as nationless and UN has also declared Rohingya as the most oppressed community of the world.

Let’s see can this effort of bringing Rohingya back to home be fruitful.

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