Saudis call on Myanmar to allow refugees to return


Rohingya refugees stand in front of a makeshift tent with their children in Ukhiya, Bangladesh, 19 September 2017. Photo: EPA

A top Saudi relief official called Thursday for Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees and let them live in peace.

Dr. Abdullah al-Rabeeah, former health minister and now leading the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, said major global powers need to press Myanmar to stop its violent expulsion of the Muslim ethnic minority into Bangladesh.

"What I want from our allies like the US and UK and the international community, I think it's time to put pressure on the Burma or Myanmar government to allow those refugees to go back and live in peace and get their rights," he said.

Rabeeah, on a stop in Washington before talks Friday at the United Nations on Yemen, said Saudi Arabia was already pumping aid in for the 422,000 Rohingyas who have been driven out of Myanmar's westernmost Rakhine state to Bangladesh since August 25.

The aid is going mostly into Bangladesh but also through Indonesia and Malaysia, he said.

"We are working heavily to help the refugees in Bangladesh," he said.

Bangladesh said earlier Thursday that it had treated more than 2,350 Rohingya refugees injured as they fled Myanmar, including bullet and machete wounds and trauma from landmines.

© AFP

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