UK Ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, speaks during a meeting of the UN Security Council at UN headquarters in NY, U.S., April 17, 2018.
Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi pledged investigations if credible evidence was provided and military chief Min Aung Hlaing vowed "harsh action" over sexual violence during separate meetings with Security Council envoys in the country's capital Naypyitaw on Monday, diplomats said. Theplomats are slated to head to northern Rakhine state on Tuesday.
The envoy, who had earlier visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar's restive Rakhine state, was quoted by AFP as saying, "In order to have accountability there must be a proper investigation".
"During the call, the State Counsellor underscored Myanmar's readiness to receive the verified returnees and necessary cooperation of Bangladesh to expedite the repatriation process quickly", the office said in a Facebook post.
IHH, one of Turkey's leading aid groups, has provided aid to more than 835,000 Rohingya Muslims, including those in Rakhine state and also those who crossed into Bangladesh since the start of the crisis on August 24.
Suu Kyi noted Myanmar's difficulties in transitioning to rule of law after decades of military dictatorship, said the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Sexual violence (is) considered as despicable acts", the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper cited military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing as telling the envoys.
NAY PYI TAW: 's leader told a visiting United Nations delegation that the country was ready to allow the return of refugees after they complete a verification process, her office said on Tuesday.
He also told the delegation that the army has been taking action against soldiers who have been found guilty of raping Rohingya girls and women during the crackdown.
The Rohingya refugees alleged that the Myanmar military engaged in killings, rape and the burning of their villages. "They are a member of the Security Council and they are with us", he said. "The Bangladesh government is also working through multilateral agencies besides bilateral negotiations with Myanmar", Shringla told IANS in an interview.
On Tuesday, the United Nations delegation will go to Maungdaw township by helicopter to visit refugee repatriation centers and ethnic Rakhine and Muslim villages, said Maung Maung, deputy director of the Information and Public Relations Department of Rakhine state.
Thousands of refugees gathered amid scorching heat at the Kutupalong camp to welcome the visiting delegation.
Myanmar authorities, who signed an agreement with Bangladesh in November to repatriate the refugees, have denied allegations of human rights abuses in the military offensive and justified it as a legitimate response to terror.
"The prime minister also urged the worldwide community to put strong pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingyaas", Bangladesh PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting. "That is the reason the Security Council is here..."
"We are not asking Myanmar government something new". "This issue will remain on our agenda and it's one of our priorities".
Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi flatly rejected a suggestion that the Security Council was shielding Myanmar from worldwide pressure.
"We (however) don't want conflict, we want peaceful resolution to the crisis", she said. We are not expecting to have, to easily solve this problem very quick. "But all the parties should show commitments to solv [ing] it as soon as possible".
He said the Security Council would "try to explore ways and means to speed up implementation of the (accord) signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar for safe, free, voluntary and dignified return of the refugees". Written in English by Roseanne Gerin. Translated by Khet Mar.
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