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PREMIUM Australia is providing further support to combat the outbreak of highly contagious and deadly diphtheria amongst Rohingya in Bangladesh who have fled violence in Myanmar, the Australian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The agreement is eerily quiet on what actually happened to the Rohingya and does not address accountability for the wide-scale atrocities and terror inflicted upon them".

"Our involvement in the process and our full access to areas of return in Myanmar can help to build confidence for all concerned, including the refugees", said Vivian Tan, UNHCR's senior regional communication officer.

Several humanitarian organisations have repeatedly denounced the agreement on the grounds that conditions are not yet safe enough for the Rohingyas to return to Myanmar where some recent refugee arrivals have reported that the attacks were still ongoing.

There is a "grave risk" in plans for repatriation for Rohingya refugees to Myanmar without the understanding of their legal status, destination and willingness to return, a parliament committee report said.

Tuesday's protests took place on the same day that. Our experiences on the ground tell us that it is unlikely that Rohingya refugees will leave camps in Bangladesh if they face uncertainty about whether they or their families will be subjected to violence, abuse, and rape back in Myanmar.

Rakhine is also home to minority Rohingya Muslims, who have long faced persecution that has seen about 650,000 people driven away from their homes into Bangladesh since August.

The military denies ethnic cleansing, saying its security forces had mounted legitimate counterinsurgency clearance operations.

The World Food Program (WFP) also highlighted the concerns about food insecurity and undernutrition in Rakhine state in bordering Myanmar - home to a large Rohingya population - especially for the health of women and children. They are generally called "Bengalis", a reference to the belief that they migrated illegally from Bangladesh. "Until they consider us citizens we won't go back", he said. Anyone who fears persecution on return to Myanmar must be afforded the right to seek asylum in Bangladesh, consistent with global law.

The rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar's security forces was widespread, according to interviews with women conducted at displacement camps by United Nations medics and activists.

In the November agreement, Burma's civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, pledged to take measures to halt the outflow of Rohingya to Bangladesh and restore normalcy in the region. Zaw Htay said at least 500 Hindus and 500 Muslims will be in the first group to return. At least 30 people have died from the disease, .


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