Myanmar today claimed that it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh yesterday. About 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh to escape a brutal military campaign that began last August following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on the security forces.
The UN has described attacks on the Rohingyas as textbook “ethnic cleansing”.
Myanmar stated five members of a family arrived at a “repatriation camp” on Saturday, and were provided with supplies and ID cards. The UN says that it is not safe to return.
The repatriation of only one family voluntarily implies that the bilateral agreement reached between Myanmar and Bangladesh is in jeopardy.
On the other hand, The New Light of Myanmar reported, the Rakhine State authorities handed over new houses to Mro ethnic people at the Thittonna Gwason Village-tract in Maungtaw Township yesterday. The 86 houses were funded by the Ayeyawady Region Government and Mandalay Region Government and handed over to Mro ethnic families from Karuchaung, Myatkhaungtaung, Panchaung and Inn Chaung villages from Thittonna Gwason Village-tract in Maungtaw Township. The authorities also delivered a set of solar panels and a family kit, each donated by the Ministry of Industry to Mro ethnic families who lost their homes in terrorist attacks last year.
The new villages will be provided with water supplies, transportation, clinics and schools, according to authorities.
The Rakhine State government has been building new homes in the Maungtaw Township for the security and social development of ethnic groups, such as Mro, Khami, Thet and Daingnet (Chakma), among others. These groups were earlier living in the mountainous areas. The government expects that the construction of such villages will improve the livelihood and social conditions of the people.
The ethnic minorities of the Rakhine have been also target of attacks by the ARSA.
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