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Britain, France & Australia urge Myanmar to end military violence against Rohingya Muslims

21 September 2017

Desperate to escape, more than 410,000 Rohingyas have fled violence from Myanmar security forces in Rakhine.

Min Aung Hlaing did not mention the return of refugees from Bangladesh.

State secretary Tin Maung Swe said Reuters could not visit the area for security reasons, but said the authorities were assessing needs of those living there. Eight people were detained, the office said.

Saif said the truck belongs to the ICRC and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and was operated by a supplier who has been working for the two agencies for last couple of weeks.

Smuggling desperate Rohingya refugees to places such as Thailand and Malaysia has been a major issue in the past in Bangladesh.

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The latest unrest was sparked by attacks on police stations across the country's northern Rakhine State in August.

"We feel helpless and hopeless", said Rohingya youth leader Ali Johar, who came to India in 2012 and lives with his family in a Delhi settlement.

Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say the army and Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign aimed at driving out the Muslim population and torching their villages.

The exodus followed a military crackdown in response to coordinated attacks by Rohingya militants on security forces.

Myanmar government leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has faced a barrage of criticism from overseas for not stopping the violence.

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So far, 5,575 refugees have been registered in 10 booths set up near different camp sites in Cox's Bazar, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said in a press conference held at the conference room of his ministry.

However, she did not address the United Nations accusations of ethnic cleansing by the military, which is in charge of security. "It's necessary to have control of our region with our national races", Min Aung Hlaing said. Myanmar claims the community are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship. Myanmar does not identify the Rohingyas as citizens, but rather as immigrants from Bangladesh.

"National races" is a Myanmar term referring to members of officially recognised indigenous ethnic groups who make up the diverse nation.

Chander said India and Myanmar have agreed "to undertake both infrastructure and socio-economic projects, particularly in the spheres of education, health, agriculture and allied activities, agro-processing, community development, construction of small bridges, upgrade of roads, small power projects, livelihood activity, setting up of training centres, promotion of household crafts, conservation of environment and cultural heritage".

They forced "the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) to unload the aid from the boat and prevented the boat from leaving", Global New Light of Myanmar reported Thursday, quoting Myanmar's Information Committee.

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Rohingya refugees are fleeing from violence-hit state of Rakhine in Myanmar to India and Bangladesh.

Britain, France & Australia urge Myanmar to end military violence against Rohingya Muslims