Kutupalong : Attacks on Rohingya Muslims appear to be continuing in Myanmar and it is not yet safe for the hundreds of thousands living in refugee camps in Bangladesh to begin returning home, a senior United Nations official said. Many Rohingya want to return eventually to their villages in Myanmar, UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth said Wednesday during a visit to the immense Kutupalong refugee camp. But they fear for their safety if they were to go back now, he said.

“The situation isn’t safe for the returns to begin,” he said. “I spoke to one young woman who had been on the phone to her aunt in Rakhine in Myanmar. And they were attacking villages even today.”More than 680,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state beginning in August, after Myanmar security forces began “clearance operations” in their villages in the wake of attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts, reports AP.

Forsyth’s comments came as former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson resigned suddenly from an advisory panel on the crisis, calling it a “whitewash and a cheerleading operation” for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. “She blames all the problems that Myanmar is having on the international media, on the UN, on human rights groups, on other governments, and I think this is caused by the bubble that is around her, by individuals that are not giving her frank advice,” Richardson, once a close friend of Suu Kyi, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.

U.S. negotiator quits advisory panel

Washington DC : A former United States ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson has resigned from an advisory panel over the Rohingya refugee crisis, calling it a pro-government “cheerleading squad”.

According to The New York Times, Richardson said in a statement, “It is with great disappointment that I announce my resignation from the Advisory Board on Rakhine State.”

“It appears that the Board is likely to become a cheerleading squad for government policy as opposed to proposing genuine policy changes that are desperately needed to assure peace, stability and development in Rakhine State,” he added.

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