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Aust to help lead aid efforts for Rohingya

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh, following military atrocities that the United Nations has dubbed a “text book case of ethnic cleansing”.

Myanmar’s army has released a report denying all allegations of mass rape and killings by security forces.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held private talks with Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the margins of the East Asia Summit in Manila.

Later during an address to assembled leaders he expressed concerns for the welfare of victims of the violence.

It’s understood he told leaders he welcomed Ms Suu Kyi’s efforts to resolve the crisis and heaped praise on Indonesia’s diplomacy efforts.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Ms Suu Kyi has come under fire from the international community over her handling of the crisis.
Myanmar is predominately Buddhist and Rohingya people do not have citizenship and the government considers them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

The country is making a rocky transition to a civilian government after 49 years of military rule.

The Turnbull government last week announced a four week fundraising campaign for aid agencies responding to the humanitarian crisis.

The government will match public donation of up to $5 million to the Australian Red Cross and the United Nations refugee arm.

The government has pledged $30 million in emergency funds since September.
Australia’s military is continuing defence cooperation with Myanmar despite the United Kingdom and United States issuing a ban.

Military assistance is worth almost $400,000 and involves training in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, peace keeping and English classes.


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