UN aid agencies urge Myanmar to speed up return of Rohingya, grant citizenship

UN aid agencies called on Myanmar on Wednesday to improve conditions in Rakhine state for the safe return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UN Development Program (UNDP) said that they needed full access to Rakhine state and were still awaiting permission for international staff to be based in the town of Maungdaw. The agencies also want Myanmar to provide a clear pathway to citizenship for those eligible, Reuters said. The Rohingya, who regard themselves as native to Rakhine state, are widely considered as interlopers by Myanmar’s Buddhist majority and are denied citizenship. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar’s western Rakhine state after a military crackdown that started in August last year.