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Bangladesh, Myanmar officials agree to draft repatriation deal for Rohingya Muslims

[JURIST] Bangladesh and Myanmar officials agreed on Monday to a plan for the repatriation of more than half a million Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled across the border to Bangladesh. Under the agreement [Myanmar Times report], refugees would have the option to return to Rakhine State and will only return "under safe conditions."

According to the UN, Myanmar has engaged in ethnic cleaning [JURIST report] against Rohingya Muslims, causing many of them to flee to safety. Myanmar officials, however, deny such accusations, arguing that their efforts have been to battle against Rohingya "terrorists" who continually attack security forces.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi addressed human rights violations concerns in the Rakhine state in September, pledging [JURIST report] that "[a]ction will be taken against all people, regardless of their religion, race and political position, who go against the law of the land and violate human rights." However, Myanmar government refuse to allow UN investigators into the country to conduct an investigation into the situation. UN Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledged [statement] Suu Kyi's speech and Myanmar's intention to "implement the recommendations of the advisory committee for Rakhine state."

In early September a reported 270,000 Rohingya had fled [press release] to Bangladesh since late August as a result of alleged human right violations.

A working group is being composed to begin drawing up the plans.

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