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UN special envoy meets returning Rohingya refugees

Christine Burgener, the UN secretary general’s special envoy to Myanmar, met with several refugees recently returned to Myanmar on Monday, according to a local official in Rakhine state.

The meetings took place in Maungdaw township’s General Administrative Office, Maungdaw district administrator Soe Aung told Myanmar Now on Monday.

Mohamed Shawbe, 35, told Myanmar Now that 10 female and 10 male Rohingya returnees met with the special envoy after being requested to do so by the state government.

Before fleeing to Bangladesh the 20 Rohingya had all lived in Oo Daung village, where Shawbe served as village administrator, he said.

“We came back because we’re worried for our lives and the future education of our children,” he said.

They are currently staying in new housing in downtown Maungdaw.

Burgener also met with groups of Buddhists and Hindus affected by ongoing conflicts there as well.

After a 2017 ‘clearance operation’ by the Myanmar military, more than 740,000 Rohingya fled across the Bangladeshi border into what became the world’s largest refugee camp.

UN investigators have said the operations amounted to genocide.

About 400 Rohingyas have returned in a stalled repatriation process.

Since the conflict, fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army has displaced scores more within the state.

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