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Bangladesh official: Rohingya repatriation ready to begin

Bangladesh official: Rohingya repatriation ready to begin
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COX S BAZAR, Bangladesh -- A Bangladesh official says authorities are ready to begin repatriating more than 2,200 Rohingya Muslims refugees to Myanmar from where more than 700,000 have fled violence since last year.

Bangladesh s repatriation commissioner Abul Kalam said Wednesday that 30 refugee families would be transferred Thursday at the Gundrum border point near Cox s Bazar, where refugees have been living in cramped camps.

Kalam says the United Nations refugee agency is verifying the repatriation process. According to a U.N.-brokered deal with Myanmar and Bangladesh, all repatriations must be voluntary.

Foreign leaders have criticized Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this week in Singapore for her handling of the ethnic crisis that led to the Rohingya exodus.
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