Sunday, 24 June, 2018

UN Security Council envoys hear of rapes, murders from refugees

Rohingya refugees Rohingya Activist Recalls Devastation at World's Most Densely Populated Refugee Camp in Bangladesh
Marty Perkins | 01 May, 2018, 12:47

Britain's United Nations ambassador, Karen Pierce - a member of the visiting delegation - said after the group's visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh over the weekend that the Security Council would continue to work on enabling the refugees to return to Myanmar, but that the Rohingya must be allowed to return under safe conditions.

The UN has sought urgent financial aid to prepare the area against floods and landslides.

The UN envoys first visited Konarpara camp, a no man's land between Bangladesh and Myanmar where some 6,000 Rohingya have been trapped on bleak scrubland since the bloodshed began past year. "It is going to be a disaster when the rains come", she said.

He said Sheikh Hasina appreciated the worldwide community as they extended help and support to Bangladesh in this crisis. "The threat of raising this issue in the Security Council shouldn't be used as a leverage for the Myanmar government to cooperate".

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh does not want any conflict and it is trying to have a peaceful resolution to the problem.

During the meeting, US Representative Kelly Currie highly appreciated the Prime Minister's role saying that she has raised a level for all creating a new global standard by working from a humanitarian point of view.

Hundreds of refugees lined a road in Kutupalong camp on Sunday with signs that read "we demand justice" and "protected return to protected homeland".

The Security Council has called for the safe return of the Rohingya and an end to the discrimination against them.

The team will visit camps housing the refugees and discuss the crisis with local officials.




During their interaction at different levels, the delegation members assured all of taking effective steps to help resolve the Rohingya crisis.

The delegation members said they do not see any resistance from any party and all the UNSC members are with Bangladesh.

Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, the UN Security Council president and the head of the Delegation, was also present at a media briefing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport before leaving Dhaka for Myanmar.

While UN reports have already condemned the violence as both ethnic cleansing and having "all the hallmarks of genocide", this is the first visit by the security council and holds great significance.

He said the United Nations should understand it has a stake, too. "It' is unconscionable and it can not be continued any longer".

Ahead of a meeting with leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the team plans to sit with refugees in the Bangladeshi camps and interviewing them.

State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam is expected to host a reception in honour of the UNSC team at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden on Sunday evening.

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

While the Security Council is united on traveling to the region, there is resistance by Burma's ally China and Russian Federation - both veto-wielding powers on the council - over how involved the 15-member body should be.

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