United Nations aid agencies called on Myanmar on Wednesday to improve conditions in Rakhine state for the safe return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and provide a clear pathway to citizenship for those eligible.
Hundreds of Syrian refugees returned to their country from Lebanon on Saturday in a bus convoy arranged by both governments, advancing an effort by Beirut to accelerate returns to areas where fighting has ended.
Myanmar's government said it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees, among the 700,000 who fled a brutal crackdown, but the move was slammed by rights groups as a publicity stunt which ignored warnings over the security of returnees.
The UN refugee agency has said that conditions in Myanmar are not ready for the return of persecuted Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighboring Bangladesh following a military crackdown in Rakhine state last year.
Hundreds of displaced families have returned to their homes in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor Province after the Syrian Arab Army restored security to the area and all the basic services were secured.
A Myanmar government minister told Rohingya refugees living in a makeshift camp on the Bangladesh border they should take up a government offer to return, warning they will face "consequences" if they stay where they are.
World number one Rafa Nadal, who is struggling to get any match practice before the Australian Open, will play an exhibition event at Melbourne Park in the week leading up to the season opening grand slam, organizers said on Monday.
Human rights groups called on Friday for international agencies to be allowed to monitor the planned repatriation of hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh to the homes they have fled from in Myanmar over the past three months.
An Iraqi volunteer military force, which heeded a government call to arms in 2014 to join the fight against Daesh, says it respects the decisions of the national army, hinting that it will act on an order to hand heavy arms back when the counter-terrorism battles end.