Myanmar signs Rohingya return deal with Bangladesh

It remains to be seen how the Rohignya that fled the brutality in Myanmar will react to the new deal

Myanmar signs Rohingya return deal with Bangladesh

Rohingya children at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, 19-11-2017. Image: ay Nietfeld/DPA/PA Images

Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed a deal to allow hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to return home.

Myanmar's Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population said: "We are ready to take them back as soon as possible after Bangladesh sends the forms back to us."

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee their homes in the mainly Buddhist Rakhine State amid a military crackdown.

The UN described the mass exodus as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" - and there were reports of widespread murder, brutal violence and systematic rape.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International warned that the Rohnigya are trapped in a system of discrimination in Myanmar that amounts to apartheid.

It remains to be seen how the Rohignya that have fled the brutality will react to the new deal.

Before returning to Myanmar, also known as Burma, the refugees must write down their personal details on forms that will be given to the authorities.

Earlier this month, footage from the area showed emaciated women and newborn babies who had been dumped on beaches and left to die.

Leading charities have warned of exploitation, trafficking and prostitution taking place against vulnerable Rohingya women and children in Bangladeshi camps.