UN team in B'desh pledges to work to end Rohingya crisis

Posted April 30, 2018

The Security Council envoys - who will travel to Myanmar on Monday and meet with its de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi - also visited a dry and dusty Kutupalong refugee camp that housed numerous almost 700,000 Rohingya who fled Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Kutupalong camp took the opportunity to directly convey their message to the United Nations about their repatriation and protected homeland in Rakhine state.

"I am here to talk to them".

According to a copy seen by BenarNews, these included a demand for "an global security presence in Arakan (Rakhine) to keep us safe"; full citizenship for their people and official recognition of their Rohingya ethnicity; the right of Rohingya to return to "our original land, village and family compound"; as well as to hold Myanmar military members and others accountable for abuses and crimes committed against Rohingya.

The refugees handed a 13-point charter of demands to the diplomats.

The U.N. refugee agency and Bangladesh recently finalized a memorandum of understanding that said the repatriation process must be "safe, voluntary and dignified.in line with global standards".

Thousands of refugees gathered amid scorching heat at the Kutupalong camp to welcome the visiting delegation.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh made emotional pleas to the UN Security Council on Sunday for help to return safely to their homes in neighbouring Myanmar and for justice over the reason they fled - accusations of killings, rapes and arson. The UN delegates will interview refugees in the Bangladeshi camps before travelling to Myanmar and meeting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been denounced in the West for her failure to speak up for the Rohingya.

In Cox's Bazar, the diplomats describe the Rohingya crisis a "very complex" issue.

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"Of course, we will discuss this situation, but we will try to find the best possible solutions".

Peru's ambassador to the United Nations, Gustavo Adolfo Meza Cuadra Velasqez, said he and his fellow team members were ready to "work hard" and were "very concerned" about the crisis. "But there is no magic solution, there is no magic stick to solve all these issues", he said at a news conference at the Kutupalong refugee camp in the coastal town of Cox's Bazar.

"From the very beginning, we said its solution is hard".

He emphasized for constructive dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In November previous year, the Security Council strongly condemned the government-sanctioned violence against Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority in a unanimously-backed statement.

Haito Wu, China's deputy representative to the United Nations, was among the delegates. "This is very complicated issue. And here, we will have to do our best to discuss this issue and find solutions in the Security Council", he also said.

State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said it is easy to lead a fire but very hard to extinguish it. "The UNSC members now understand the depth of the problem", he said adding that the delegation members highly appreciated prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her government's efforts.

"The council needs to act decisively and immediately to end the sufferings of the Rohingyas", State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said while hosting a reception for the visiting members on Sunday.

On Friday, Human Rights Watch called for Myanmar's Rohingya crisis to be referred to the International Criminal Court. Aid agencies have been asking the Myanmar government to improve the situation in Rakhine state, where access to the humanitarian agencies is still restricted. But the process halted because of the unpreparedness in Myanmar.

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