Myanmar will 'verify' the Rohingyas before taking them back, government spokesman says
All residents from dozens of Rohingya villages have fled to Bangladesh in the face of the latest persecution, a Myanmar government spokesperson has said.
Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay said out of 471 Rohingya villages targeted in the “clearance operations”, 176 are empty while 34 others are partially abandoned, reports abcNews.
Nearly 400,000 Rohingyas crossed into Bangladesh since the army started its latest crackdown on August 25, following attacks on several police posts and an army base.
Bangladesh already hosts an estimated 400,000 Rohingyas.
Rohingyas are the largest stateless community and one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Buddhist-majority Myanmar denies them citizenship and refers to them as “Bangali”, indicating that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Zaw Htay did not use the word Rohingya.
He said Myanmar has to “verify” the refugees before taking them back. “We can only accept them after they are verified,” he added.