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UNHCR chief pessimistic on deal for Rohingya returns to Myanmar

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FILE PHOTO: U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, attends a meeting of Latin America and Caribbean for the global pact on refugees, at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

GENEVA (Reuters) – A quick agreement to return Rohingya refugees to Myanmar is looking less and less likely, the U.N. refugee chief said on Friday as he launched an almost $1 billion appeal to support the stateless Muslims in camps in Bangladesh for the rest of 2018.

The United Nations says 671,000 Rohingya fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine state after militant attacks in August sparked a crackdown led by security forces, which a U.N. investigator said bore “the hallmarks of genocide”.

Filippo Grandi, head of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, said the Rohingya must be allowed to return to their homes in Myanmar, but returns could only take place voluntarily and if their rights were guaranteed.

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Reuters

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