UK's Boris Johnson urges 'safe, dignified' return of Rohingya refugees

The military on January 10 said the 10 Rohingya men belonged to a group of 200 "terrorists" who had attacked security forces, adding that Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead. He cited security fears, continued discrimination and economic necessity. While saying more proof was needed, he acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that "the elements of ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya existed.

"As with other, previous reports of mass graves, this report highlights the ongoing and urgent need for Burmese authorities to cooperate with an independent, credible investigation into allegations of atrocities in northern Rakhine", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The account marked the first time soldiers and paramilitary police have been implicated by testimony from security personnel in arson and killings in the north of Rakhine state that the United Nations has said may amount to genocide.

The United Nations has described the exodus of Rohingya people from Rakhine state, and the military offensive which provoked it, as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

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A month after the journalists were detained, Myanmar's army issued a rare statement taking responsibility for the deaths but claimed that those killed were "Bengali terrorists", reflecting the regime's official stance that the Rohingya are interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday in the capital, Naypyidaw, to discuss how hundreds of thousands of Rohingya can be safely repatriated.

The Bangladesh border where refugees are sheltered is set to welcome foreign minister Boris Johnson who plans to embark on a trip to its camps.

Mr Johnson will now fly to Myanmar, where he is due to meet de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday.

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Reuters news agency has published a report by two arrested reporters on the massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The pair now face up to 14 years in prison on charges of possessing classified documents in violation of the colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

He will go on to Bangkok, Thailand, for talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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  • Ryan Wade