Conditions not yet in place for safe Rohingya returns: UNHCR

GENEVA (Reuters) – Conditions in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state “are not in place to enable safe and sustainable returns” of more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence to Bangladesh since late August, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday.

A Rohingya refugee stands outside her makeshift shelter at Hakim Para refugee settlement near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. REUTERS/Susana Vera

UNHCR said it had still not seen a repatriation agreement signed by the two countries on Thursday, but stressed that any returns by the “traumatized” group must be safe and voluntary. Spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing: “It is important that international standards apply, and we are ready to help.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff

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