UN Security Council team seeks Rohingya's safe return

May 04, 2018, 09:58
UN Security Council team seeks Rohingya's safe return

An estimated 6,00,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled Myanmar's Rakhine State since August a year ago after large-scale violence there. In a subsequent crackdown described by the United Nations and the United States as "ethnic cleansing", Myanmar security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of Rohingya villagers' homes.

Both the U.N. and United States have said that the campaign, which forced almost 700,000 Rohingya to flee to safety in Bangladesh, amounted to ethnic cleansing.

"The United States is deeply grateful to the government of Bangladesh for its generous humanitarian response to the Rohingya crisis", Trump said.

Unless the government of Myanmar gives the Rohingya their denied citizenship rights, there will be little progress.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in December to begin repatriating the refugees in January, but there were concerns among aid workers and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Myanmar. This does not inspire confidence in the Myanmar government's intentions.

A UN Security Council (UNSC) delegation visited northern Rakhine State on Tuesday to learn about the situation on the ground there. "The second would be for the Burmese government to do it themselves", she said.

The delegation also met some refugees who had returned from Bangladesh, the government of Rakhine state and civil representatives. "We also mentioned the importance of the investigations regarding what happened there before the refugees went to Bangladesh".

The State Counsellor said, "The basis for return must be that it is safe, dignified and voluntary".

"We believe if the MoUs can be signed quickly and United Nations agencies be given unconditional access, that will be the best thing to do for the scale of the problem - the absolute scale of having to get ... so many refugees back home in security and safety so they can practice their livelihoods over time", Pierce said. They just didn't care to listen to us. Indeed, Suu Kyi has repeatedly denied that rights abuses have taken place, has not criticized the military, and has refused to call the Rohingya.

An OIC delegation visited the camps in January following the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh after August 25, 2017, when the military and Buddhist mobs torched their homes, wiped out their villages and persecuted them in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar.

The US remains committed to supporting Bangladesh alongside "our" global partners as the largest humanitarian assistance donor in the world.

Aye Lwin also reminded the delegates that refugees living in makeshift shelters in Bangladesh as well as in Myanmar will face a major risk from floods and landslides during the fast-approaching monsoon season.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, the United Kingdom's minister of state for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, told reporters earlier in the week that Myanmar's agreement to the council visit and a previous visit by the U.N. special envoy for sexual violence in conflict "demonstrates the glimmer of hope in what has been a very dark chapter in human history in that part of the region".

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