Level UN team arrives in Myanmar for Rohingya probe


Level UN team arrives in Myanmar for Rohingya probe

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.

"We can not remain silent about it, and when we go back to NY...we will try to explore ways and means to speed up the implementation of the agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar for safe, free and voluntary and dignified return of the refugees", he added.

They had a very personal story to share as majority were born or raised in the refugee camps in Bangladesh where life was cheap and the only hope came in the distant shores of a country like Canada.

The U.N. Security Council envoys travelled by Myanmar military helicopters to northern Rakhine on Tuesday, the final day of their four-day visit to the region, flying over burnt and bulldozed villages visible from the air.

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. The council mission also met with civil society, parliamentarians and government representatives in the capital of Myanmar. The envoys represent the 15 countries making up the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful body. On our arrival NY, we will continue our discussions. "They have killed my family members, they tortured us, they will kill us again", said one of the refugees, 29-year-old Mohammed Tayab, standing in front of a tent where he was waiting to meet the United Nations team.

British United Nations Ambassador Karen Pierce consoles a twelve-year-old Rohingya refugee near Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh, April 29, 2018.

Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of mainly Buddhist Myanmar, has been pilloried overseas for her failure to speak up for the Muslim Rohingya or publicly condemn the army for driving them out of the country.

Many Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled to Bangladesh have described incidents of rape by the military back home.

Declining the reports of killings, arson and rape against arriving refugees, the Myanmar government on Tuesday said the army were engaged in a legitimate security campaign in order to tackle a string of Rohingya insurgent attacks on the security forces. UNSC President Gustavo Adolfo Meza Cuadra Velasqez led his team at the meeting.

"It shows the scale of the challenge as we try as a Security Council to find some way through that enables these poor people to go home", Pierce said. 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 worldwide standards".

The delegation also had comprehensive discussions with Myanmar delegation, led by U Kyaw Tint Swe, Minister at the Office of the State Counselor.

In New York, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq noted at a briefing that "around 500,000 Rohingya still live in Rakhine, facing continued discrimination and marginalization, including around 130,000 men, women and children who are trapped in appalling conditions in camps". They demand guarantees of safety, the right to return to their original villages and the granting of citizenship. "This is the reality that must be changed if refugees are to be reasonably expected to return". They're derided as "Bengalis", and many in Myanmar believe they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

An worldwide appeal for $951 million for humanitarian aid for the refugees and their host communities was only 10 per cent funded, he added.



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