Myanmar, UN sign pact on initial steps for Rohingya return
Newly arrived Rohingya Muslim family, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carry their belonging as they arrive at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (AP / Dar Yasin)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018 1:44AM EDT
YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar and UN agencies signed an agreement that might eventually lead to the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled brutal persecution by the country's security forces and are now crowded into makeshift camps in Bangladesh.
The memorandum of understanding signed Wednesday promises to establish a "framework of co-operation" that aims to create the conditions for "voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable" repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
Myanmar's security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes. The UN and U.S. have described the army crackdown that began in August last year as "ethnic cleansing."
Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed in November to begin repatriating Rohingya, but refugees feared their lives would be at risk in Myanmar without international monitoring.