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Red Cross says conditions not right for Rohingyas to return

In this photograph taken Aug. 27, 2018, a Rohingya man looks at medicines being sold on the roadside in Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh. Faith healers have long been sought out in Rohingya society to treat physical and mental ailments. Their trade has thrived in part because of traditional beliefs and in part because Rohingya have lacked access to modern medical care in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they are one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world. Access to medical care has changed for the better in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, yet many Rohingya still seek out their faith healers. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross says conditions are not right for Rohingya Muslim refugees to return safely to Myanmar from Bangladesh, where over 700,000 have sought refuge since August 2017 following a military crackdown.

Robert Mardini is the organization’s U.N. observer. He told reporters Wednesday that the conflict between the Rohingya and Myanmar’s government is not resolved and added that there is no place to go back to because “so many villages” are flattened in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the Rohingya live.

Mardini said that “we still believe that the conditions are not right for voluntary, safe, dignified returns.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross is one of the very few humanitarian organizations operating in Rakhine.

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