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Myanmar is getting ready for the first Rohingya returnees, but the US is warning against rushing

YANGON / COX & BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Representatives of Myanmar said the country was ready to receive more than 2,000 Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh on Sunday, the first group of 5,000 people under the regime The neighbors have beaten a deal between Bangladesh last month.

FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugees walk in the morning at Jamtoli camp on January 22, 201

8 in Cox's Bazar (Bangladesh). REUTERS / Mohammad Ponir Hossain

But more than 20 people filed by Bangladesh said so Reuters will refuse to return to the northern Rakhine state from where they fled. Bangladesh said it will not force anyone to do it.

The United Nations also says the conditions for their return are not yet certain, in part because the Myanmar Buddhists have protested against the repatriation.

"It depends on the other country whether this will actually happen or not," said Win Myat Aye, Myanmar's Minister of Social Welfare and Relocation, in a press conference in Yangon's trade capital on Bangladesh on Sunday.

"But we have to be prepared by our side. We did that. "

Abul Kalam, Commissioner for Bangladesh Relief and Repatriation, said he hopes the trial could start on Thursday.

"The return will be voluntary. Nobody will be forced to go back, "he told Reuters.

The countries agreed in mid-November to begin the repatriation of more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled last year from a comprehensive crackdown by the army in Myanmar.

They say soldiers and local Buddhists have massacred families, burned down hundreds of villages and executed gang rapes. Investigators on behalf of UN.N have accused the army of "genocide intent" and ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar denies almost all allegations, saying security forces are fighting terrorists. Attacks by insurgents of the Rohingya, who called themselves the Salvation Army Arakan Rohingya, preceded the defeat.

Myanmar recognizes the assassination of 10 Rohingya by security forces in the village of Inn Dinn. Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this year for allegedly violating the country's official secrets law after they reported the massacre.

Reuters says the court's ruling was wrong, and lawyers have appealed against their conviction.

Win Myat Aye said preparations had been made to transport 2,251 people by boat to two transit centers on Thursday, while a second group of 2,095 could follow later on the road.

Once processed by the authorities, they would be sent to another center where they were housed, fed, and asked to build houses for cash for work.

Returnees were only allowed to travel within the community of Maungdaw, one of the three escaped, and only when they accepted the National Verification Cards, a card that most Rohingya reject because they say they are foreigners.

Many Rohingya, most of whom have remained stateless after decades of persecution, refuse to return without a guarantee and vested benefits.

Additional coverage by Thu Thu Aung in Yangon; Cut by Mike Collett-White

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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