Rohingya crisis: Myanmar says first refugee family returns

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Myanmar says it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, despite a UN warning that it is not safe to return.

Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled across the border to escape a brutal military campaign that began last August.

The UN has accused Myanmar of “ethnic cleansing” – a charge it denies.

Myanmar says five members of a family arrived at a “repatriation camp” on Saturday, and were provided with supplies and ID cards.

If confirmed, this would be the first group of Rohingya repatriated to Myanmar since the crisis began.

The Myanmar government says it has been engaged in a justified campaign against Rohingya militants in Rakhine state.

Earlier this month, it sentenced seven soldiers to prison terms for involvement in the killing of 10 Rohingya men.

Refugees fleeing the country into neighbouring Bangladesh, however, said that such acts were widespread – describing indiscriminate killings, rape, and the burning of villages.

The Rohingya are a mostly Muslim minority ethnic group in Myanmar. They are not recognised by the state, which denies them citizenship and considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

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