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While the majority of those refugees fled Myanmar past year, Rohingya Muslims continue to stream across the border to Bangladesh by the hundreds every week.

The UN and human rights organisations have repeatedly criticised the atrocities allegedly committed by the Myanmar military in a campaign against the Rohingya that began in northern Rakhine following a coordinated assault by the Rohingya insurgent movement on August 25, 2017, reports Efe news.

"Victims have reported killings, rape, torture and abductions by the security forces and local militia, as well as apparently deliberate attempts to force the Rohingya to leave the area through starvation, with officials blocking their access to crops and food supplies", he told the Geneva forum.

Myanmar's government spokesman did not answer repeated calls for comment on Gilmour's statement. In the Council, its delegation is allowed to respond on Thursday.

"A recent announcement that seven soldiers and three police officers will be brought to justice for the alleged extra-judicial killing of ten Rohingya men is grossly insufficient", he added.

Farmaner, however, urged the British government to support the United Nations in referring Myanmar to the International Criminal court.

A Rakhine Buddhist leader facing treason charges linked to deadly riots appeared in a Myanmar court on Wednesday, a case that has aggravated ethnic tensions in a region also roiled by the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

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Finance minister A.M.A Muhith said it was unlikely the displaced Muslims would ever return to their homeland.

"I do not believe the Rohingya can be sent back", Muhith, an outspoken minister from the ruling party, told reporters late Tuesday in Dhaka after meeting with a British charity.

The UN expert also questioned how the Myanmar government could say that it was ready for the return of the Rohingya refugees while atrocities committed against them continued, and argued that "safe, dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current conditions". "In the same way, those who wish to return to Myanmar have the right to do so when they feel the time and circumstances are right".

Bangladesh and Burma made an agreement last November to repatriate the refugees, a process supposed to be completed within two years which was recently postponed.

But the United Nations, rights groups and many Western powers have accused the army of using those attacks as a pretext to expel a minority which has faced brutal discrimination for decades.

Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingyas as citizens and forces many of them to live in squalid camps in apartheid-like condition.


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