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Bangladesh and Myanmar agree to return Rohingya Muslims within two years

[JURIST] Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed Tuesday to complete the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya within two years.

According to a statement released by the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the repatriation will be completed [press release] within two years from the commencement. Under this agreement, Bangladesh will establish five camps. They will then move the Rohingya from these camps to two reception centers established on Myanmar's side of the border. Myanmar will then shelter the Rohingya in temporary accommodations while rebuilding houses for them.

Humanitarians are warning [Reuters report] that this time frame is too fast to guarantee a safe and voluntary return. A spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency said that the Rohingya should voluntarily return only when they feel that it is safe to do so. The US expressed similar concerns, stressing that the ability for the people to safely and voluntarily return is what is most important.

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