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UNSC team meets Rohingyas in Bangladesh

01 May, 2018, 04:53 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Rohingya refugees

The Security Council members are making their way to the region.

The Security Council, meanwhile, has yet to vote on an official resolution to exert worldwide pressure on Myanmar, although the United Nations and United States - another permanent UNSC member - both branded a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine state that drove almost 700,000 Rohingya to seek shelter in neighboring Bangladesh since last August as "ethnic cleansing".

"We are standing here to demand justice as they (the Myanmar military) have killed our men and tortured our women so much, so we are compelled to seek justice for those abuses", Sajida Begum, a Rohingya refugee who was in the crowd Sunday, told Reuters.

Kuwait's U.N. Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, one of the envoys, told Hasina the Security Council wanted to "send a clear strong message. that we're determined to end this humanitarian crisis".

Senior diplomats from the 15-member Security Council - including permanent members the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday for a four-day visit to the camps. "We want security and return of our confiscated land and properties", said Rohingya leader Mohibullah.

Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts in Rakhine on August 25 sparked the military operation that has sent almost 700,000 Rohingya fleeing to camps in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.

Britain's United Nations ambassador, Karen Pierce, said in NY that the most important thing is that the body charged with maintaining global peace and security "can see for itself the situation on the ground in a very desperate case of alleged human rights violations and abuses and crimes against humanity".

Rohingya are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they have faced persecution for decades.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees started arriving in Bangladesh in August previous year, after Myanmar's army launched a violent crackdown on Rohingya in Rakhine State.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar, that doesn't recognize them as equal citizens, in the last few months to escape violence.

They are to go on a helicopter flight over Rakhine to see the remains of villages torched during the violence. "They are in desperate need of support and protection and we simply do not have the funding we need to deliver a fraction of what is required", said McCue.

Wounded Rohingya refugees walk with the help of crutches at the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp.

"We can not remain silent about it", he said, adding that the issue would remain at the top of the UN Security Council's agenda.

Myanmar has said the military operation in Rakhine was to root out extremists and has rejected almost all allegations that its security forces committed atrocities.

Leading global rights group Human Rights Watch called on Friday for the Rohingya crisis to be referred to the worldwide Criminal Court.

The UN refugee agency and Bangladesh recently finalised a memorandum of understanding that said the repatriation process must be "safe, voluntary and dignified ... in line with worldwide standards".



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