UNSC delegation to meet Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Saul Bowman
May 1, 2018

Hundreds of Rohingya staged a demonstration Sunday as UN Security Council envoys visited refugee camps in Bangladesh where about 700,000 people who have fled Myanmar in the past year have sought sanctuary.

The UNSC team comprising of delegates from five permanent members China, France, Russia, UK and the United States, and 10 other non-permanent members visited the Kutupalong refugee camp at Tombru border in Bandarban's Naikhyangchhari to assess the plight of the refugees there, as reported by the Daily Star.

The UN Security Council visit is held on high esteem as Bangladesh hopes it to lend out assistance towards repatriating the mass population of Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar.

She pledged: "We will do our very best from our side". "But there is no magic solution, there is no magic stick to solve all these issues", The Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

His country and China - another veto-empowered council member - have bilateral and military ties with Naypyidaw.

"We are not looking away from this crisis, we are not closing our eyes", the Russian diplomat told reporters. We are not closing our eyes.

"The issue is still, for us, to promote bilateral ways to resolve this issue".

"It's very necessary to come and see everything at place here in Bangladesh and Myanmar".

"How one goes about that, the prominence that one gives to the individual government, particularly the Burmese government, tends to be what divides the council and that's the old sovereignty versus human rights debate", she said. "I will tell them my stories".

"What we saw is not acceptable".

New refugees are still arriving, with some 8,000 new arrivals since January 2018, he said. The crowd broke into loud chants as the delegates got out.

The team will meet some of the refugees, including victims of rape and torture, on Sunday.

Leaders from the refugee community also handed the delegation a 13-point list of demands for repatriation to Myanmar.

Karen Pierce, Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, said the Security Council would try to help the refugees return to Myanmar.

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

Hasina added that the refugees should return "under United Nations supervision where security and safety should be ensured".

Bangladesh wants them to act "decisively and immediately" to end the sufferings of the Rohingyas. The council has the power to refer matters to the worldwide criminal court (ICC) and to deploy peacekeepers.

The visit puts a global spotlight back on the crisis amid warnings by the United Nations, aid groups and Myanmar's panel of worldwide advisers on Rohingya issues that the coming monsoon season would likely worsen the humanitarian situation.

The delegation's three-day visit is expected to include a helicopter flight over Rakhine state so they can see the remains of Rohingya villages razed to the ground during the crackdown. Some were in tears and spoke of rape, murder and other atrocities committed by Myanmar security forces.

Myanmar has faced intense worldwide pressure since the start of a military campaign in August that has driven some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims over the border into Bangladesh, where refugees have provided harrowing testimony of murder and rape by security forces and local mobs.

The Kuwaiti diplomat said the Security Council would "try to explore ways and means to speed up implementation of the (repatriation accord) signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar for safe, free, voluntary and dignified return of the refugees".

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