Safe return needed for Rohingya refugees - Johnson

Safe return needed for Rohingya refugees - Johnson

Safe return needed for Rohingya refugees - Johnson

Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson attends a meeting with Myanmar's State Counsellor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyitaw February 11, 2018.

'While I welcome steps by both the Burmese and Bangladeshi governments towards ensuring that these people can return home, it is vital that the Rohingya refugees must be allowed to their homes in Rakhine voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, under global oversight, and when the conditions in Burma are right'.

They will visit Rohingya camps and meet global NGOs working in the Rakhine State, Myanmar civil society organisations, religious and political leaders as well as the media.

Myanmar has staunchly denied the charges and blocked United Nations investigators from the conflict zone, souring relations with a host of western allies. Doctors Without Borders estimated at least 6,700 Rohingya died in the first month of violence.

But the Nobel laureate has refused to change tack and is accused by critics of bunkering down in a siege mentality.

The Bangladesh border where refugees are sheltered is set to welcome foreign minister Boris Johnson who plans to embark on a trip to its camps. Paet said that in order to protect the Rohingyas, the European Union must put more pressure on Myanmar for continuing ethnic cleansing, including imposing sanctions concerning human rights violations and expanding the existing arms embargo and stop Myanmar's trade concessions and EU-Myanmar investment agreement talks.

He said he also stressed the "urgent need to create the right conditions for Rohingya refugees to return to their homes in Rakhine".

"They do want to go back - but they don't feel safe", Mr Johnson said.

The Reuters report drew on interviews with Buddhists who confessed to torching Rohingya homes, burying bodies and killing Muslims in what they said was a frenzy of violence triggered when Rohingya insurgents attacked security posts last August.

That public admission followed the arrests of the two Myanmar journalists who were investigating the massacre and are now facing up 14 years in prison on charges of possessing secret documents.

Veteran United States diplomat Bill Richardson dramatically stepped down from the board last month, saying he could not in "good conscience" sit on a panel he feared would only "whitewash" the causes of the Rohingya crisis.

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