SHAFAQNA – Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on Monday to set up a “joint working group” on the repatriation of Rohingya Muslim refugee who have fled to Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali told reporters after talks with a Myanmar official.
“We are looking forward to a peaceful solution to the crisis,” Ali said after his talks with Myanmar government official Kyaw Tint Swe.
More than half a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since late August, to escape what the United Nations has branded ethnic cleansing by Myanmar’s military.
The influx broke out on August 25, when the Myanmar military unleashed a fresh crackdown campaign against Muslim villages in the western state of Rakhine following a series of armed attacks on army and police checkpoints there.
Prominent human rights groups have reported documented cases of systematic attacks by the Myanmar military and Buddhist extremists against Rakhine’s Muslim population, including random shootings, rape and arson attacks. The government, however, blames the Rohingya for the violence, claiming the Muslims set fire to their own homes.