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Myanmar Slams Bangladesh for Delaying Rohingya Return

Rohingya refugees line up to receive humanitarian aid in Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Oct. 26, 2017.

Myanmar is accusing neighboring Bangladesh of delaying the return of Rohingya Muslims forced to flee across the border to avoid a brutal campaign against them by Myanmar's military.

A spokesman for Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, told the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar Wednesday that Dhaka is waiting to begin the repatriation process until it receives $400 million in international aid earmarked to expand shelter for the 600,000 Rohingyas living in crowded refugee camps.

"Over their receipt of this amount, we are now afraid of delaying the program of deporting the refugees," said Zaw Htay.

He added Myanmar is waiting to receive an official list of Rohingyas in Bangladesh. Myanmar has agreed to accept the Rohingya once they prove they had lived in Myanmar.

A Rohingya militant attack on Myanmar police in August sparked a series of reprisals by government security forces, creating an exodus of scores of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's northern Rakhine state into Bangladesh, mainly to Cox's Bazar. Nearly 60 percent of the refugees are children.

The United Nations has called the government security forces campaign against the Rohingya Muslims ethnic cleansing.

The Rohingya Muslims say they are a long-persecuted minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and are often denied the most basic human rights.