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UN signs access deal with Myanmar amid Rohingya repatriation plans

The UN inked a deal with Myanmar on Wednesday that would grant the organization access to the epicenter of the Rohingya crisis, AFP reported. However, few details were provided on how the agreement would jump-start stalled repatriation plans. Some 700,000 people from the stateless minority fled over the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh after the military launched a crackdown on Rohingya insurgents last August - described by the UN as “ethnic cleansing.” The two countries signed a repatriation deal in November. Only a couple dozen of the long-persecuted minority have chosen to return due to safety fears and a lack of rights in Myanmar. UN agencies will initially carry out assessments in Rakhine State, which has been largely closed off to outsiders since the crisis began.