Burma violence rules out return of Rohingya, says UN

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Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh cannot be safely sent back to Burma because widespread and systematic violence against them is continuing, the UN has said.

Andrew Gilmour, the UN’s assistant secretary-general for human rights, said refugees in Bangladesh had told him “credible accounts of continued killings, rape, torture and abductions, as well as forced starvation” in the western Burmese state of Rakhine.

Burma’s government denies such abuses and announced in January that it was ready to accept the refugees back.

About 700,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled Buddhist-majority Burma to Bangladesh since late August, when Burmese security forces began sweeps though Rakhine after Rohingya insurgent attacks.