UN Security Council envoys hear of rapes, murders from refugees

Nur works in the evenings so he can run BRC. Image The British Rohingya Community  Facebook

"I am here to talk to them, we want justice from them", he said of the diplomats.

Then, they were taken to a briefing room where the local administration of Cox's Bazar and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) debriefed them on the crisis Bangladesh has been handling since August previous year. The Council, however, failed to adopt an enforceable resolution due to opposition by Myanmar's ally China. "We hope the special envoy recently appointed by the United Nations secretary general will play his role and we'll see speedy implementation of the agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar", Otaibi said.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, said he and his fellow team members would not look away from the crisis after their visit, though he warned that there were no simple solutions.

In Cox's Bazar, the diplomats describe the Rohingya crisis a "very complex" issue. There won't be an easy solution to this.

"This is very complicated issue, and it's related with history, with ethnicity, with religions", Chinese deputy UN Ambassador Wu Haitao told reporters, in response to a question about whether China and Russian Federation were preventing the council from considering a resolution on Myanmar.

Rohingya representatives gave the visiting diplomats a charter with demands, including an worldwide security presence in Rakhine State, repatriation under United Nations supervision and the restoration of their citizenship in Myanmar, news agency DPA reported.

Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi said the visit was not about "naming and shaming" Myanmar, but that "the message will be very clear for them: the worldwide community is following the situation and has great interest in resolving it". "The issues still for us to promote bilateral ways to resolve the issue", he said. "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.

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The UN has been denied access to Rakhine until now and the relationship between the organisation and Myanmar has been fraught because of the former's description of the violence as ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The visit to Myanmar will be very important, Yan Myo Thein, a political analyst told the Myanmar Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA), a news service affiliated with BenarNews. They carried signs, some of which said "We want justice".

Thousands of refugees gathered amid scorching heat at the Kutupalong camp to welcome the visiting delegation. The diplomats, who visited the sprawling camps and border points where about 7,00,000 Rohingya have taken shelter, said their visit was an opportunity to see the situation firsthand.

State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam accompanied the UNSC delegation during the visit.

The team, led by UNSC President for the month of April Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday afternoon.

The UNSC team comprising of delegates from five permanent members China, France, Russia, UK and the United States, and 10 other non-permanent members visited the Kutupalong refugee camp at Tombru border in Bandarban's Naikhyangchhari to assess the plight of the refugees there, as reported by the Daily Star.

"Of course, the refugees are incontrovertible proof of persecution and ethnic cleansing, but thus far it hasn't been enough", said Ali Riaz, a distinguished professor of Political Science, Illinois State University, USA.

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