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First Rohingya refugees repatriated to Myanmar despite United Nations safety fears
15 April 2018, 05:58 | Erica Roy
Burma repatriates first Rohingya family despite UN warnings
An advance copy of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' report to the Security Council, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, says global medical staff and others in Bangladesh have documented that numerous nearly 700,000 Rohingya who fled from Myanmar "bear the physical and psychological scars of brutal assault".
Around 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017 due to military operations in the Rakhine State against the minority Rohingya Muslim community.
Authorities there deny this, insisting that they have been waging a legitimate counter-insurgency operation after attacks by Rohingya militants on security forces last August.
In an effort to address the crisis, Bangladesh and Burma signed a deal in November to repatriate the Rohingya over the course of two years, beginning in January.
The move comes despite warnings from the United Nations and other rights groups that a mass repatriation of Rohingya would be premature, as Myanmar has yet to address the systematic legal discrimination and persecution the minority has faced for decades.
A man, two women and two children were also photographed getting medical checks and ID cards. The Rohingya family had been living in a camp erected on a patch there [between the two countries].
It reported Saturday's returnees were provided the with National Verification Cards, a form of ID that falls short of citizenship and has been rejected by Rohingya leaders.
He made the comment when asked about the return of a Rohingya family to Myanmar on Saturday.
Most Burmese consider the Rohingya as unwanted immigrants from Bangladesh, and the army refers to them as "Bengalis".
Myanmar officials could not be reached for further details and the post did not say whether any more returns were expected soon.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said this week that "conditions in Myanmar are not yet conducive for returns to be safe, dignified, and sustainable".
They have been targeted by waves of violence, systematically stripped of their citizenship and forced to live in apartheid-like conditions with severely restricted access to health care, education and other basic services.
"Before proceeding with the repatriation of Rohingya, the Myanmar government must recognise and guarantee all their fundamental human rights", he told the news agency.
The confirmation comes despite United Nations warnings that it was not yet safe for families to return.
Doctors Without Borders says the violence claimed at least 6,700 Rohingya lives in the first month alone.
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The 30-year old slugger has developed into an elite hitter, and he is now hitting.250 with two homers and 11 RBI's on the season. Betts limped back to the dugout and, after high-fiving several teammates, went down the steps into the clubhouse with trainers.