Head of United Nations food agency says world must step up Rohingya aid

World Food Programme Seeks $75 Million for Rohingya Crisis

Talking to reporters in the capital Dhaka after meeting Minister for Myanmar State Counselor Office Kyaw Tint Swe, Ali said: "The two sides have agreed to a proposal to set up a joint working group to coordinate the repatriation process [of Rohingya taking shelter in Bangladesh]". Over the past few months, around 120 Rohingya refugees, many of them children, drowned while trying to reach Bangladesh in small fishing boats.

Myanmar denies the Rohingya minority citizenship even though many have lived there for generations. Bangladesh has repeatedly urged Myanmar to repatriate them.

According to him, both sides made a decision to form a joint working group soon which will draw up plans for the repatriation process or Rohingya refugees.

"I see today's development very positively, but we know Myanmar's previous behaviour when it comes to Rohingya and their repatriation", said Delwar Hossain, a professor of worldwide relations at Dhaka University.

Under global pressure, Aung San Suu Kyi, in her speech last month, had spoken of taking back the Rohingyas, but said Myanmar would conduct a process of verification.

ICE Rolls Up 500 Criminal Aliens Hiding Out In Sanctuary Cities
In the meantime, ICE has stepped up immigration arrests in sanctuary cities , drawing the protest from state and local officials. The bulk of the arrests occurred in Los Angeles , Philadelphia, Denver, New York City, and Massachusetts, ICE said on Thursday.

There was no immediate comment from Suu Kyi's representative, who was to return to his country on Monday.

Asked if there was any timeframe fixed for forming the joint working group, the minister evaded a direct answer saying "the process has started" but said Bangladesh's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan would "soon visit Myanmar to discuss the issue".

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Crucial aid deliveries have been cut off from the impoverished area since August 25, when Rohingya militant raids on police posts triggered the military backlash that plunged northern Rakhine into crisis. Ever since the latest flare-up of violence against the community in Myanmar this year, almost 4 lakh Rohingyas have fled the state, pouring into nearby countries like Bangladesh seeking refuge. At the same time, Bangladesh has been pushing Myanmar to take back the refugees. "It is important for the Myanmar security forces to handle the situation with restraint, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population", an Indian High Commission statement quoted the Indian representative as telling the council's 36th session on Friday.

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