Rohingya refugees return to Rakhine state until Myanmar’s ‘citizens’ accept

Vastavam web: Rohingya refugees cannot return to Rakhine state until “real Myanmar citizens” are ready to accept them, the country’s army chief said today, casting doubt over government pledges to begin repatriating the persecuted Muslim minority.More than 600,000 Rohingya are languishing in Bangladeshi refugee camps after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army campaign launched in late August.He has also taken to Facebook throughout the crisis to fan anti-Rohingya sentiment among the Buddhist public, branding the Muslims as foreign interlopers from Bangladesh despite many having lived in Rakhine for generations.
Today he signalled repatriation of the Rohingya was a long way off, saying their return must first be accepted by ethnic Rakhine Buddhists — many of whom loathe the Muslim minority and are accused of aiding soldiers in torching their homes.”Emphasis must be placed on wish of local Rakhine ethnic people who are real Myanmar citizens. Only when local Rakhine ethnic people accept it, will all the people satisfy it (sic),” the statement, written in English, said on his Facebook page.The general’s comments came a day after he met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who yesterday called on the army to support efforts to return “all refugees”, adding that the reports of widespread atrocities by Myanmar’s soldiers were “credible”.
Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed in principle to begin repatriation but are still tussling over the details.Questions are mounting over how many Rohingya will be allowed to return, where they will live after they homes have been burned down and how they will coexist peacefully among ethnic Rakhine neighbours.Tensions between the two groups have simmered for years, erupting into bouts of bloodshed in 2012 that pushed more than 100,000 Rohingya into grim displacement camps.