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Rakhine State Government considers citizenship for Rakhines fleeing Bangladesh

June 14, 2013

credit emg 13.june 2013

Myanmar’s Rakhine State Government says it will consider citizenship for Rakhine ethnic people who fled Bangladesh due to attacks against them on a condition that they will never return, said officials in the state government.

Hundreds of Rakhine Buddhists have fled Bangladesh into Rakhine State in recent months, claiming that they have been targeted because of their faith and feel unsafe living in the predominantly Muslim country.

More than 700 of them are now taking refuge in the state’s townships such as Maungdaw and Kyauktaw, the state government said. Maungdaw residents say there could well be over 1000 refugees.

“The government will consider citizenship for them only if they will never go back. For the time being, the government has provided basic foods, housing and money as assistance. We’ll do everything for them according to the law. They fled Bangladesh in fears of their life,” said Hla Thein, an official with the Rakhine State Government.

The 2012 sectarian violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Rakhine state led to the 192 deaths, 265 injured and the destruction of 8,614 households, displacing an estimated100,000 people, according to Myanmar’s government.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 Rakhine Buddhists living in Bangladesh.

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