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losangelesnewstoday.com May 20, 2018


UN Security Council envoys hear of rapes, murders from refugees

01 May 2018, 04:54 | Katrina Lee

UN Security Council puts spotlight on Rohingya refugee crisis

UN security council overwhelmed by suffering at Rohingya camps

The four-day Security Council visit is led by Kuwait, Britain and Peru, and will also include a meeting with Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Kutupalong: A UN Security Council team visited Rohingya refugees trapped in the no man's land along the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar Sunday, as it weighs its response to one of the world's worst refugee crises.

"We will go back and we do not want to raise the expectations of what the Security Council can do", he said adding that the delegation will talk to the government officials in Myanmar too.

The mission visited Rohingya camps in south-eastern Bangladeshi district of Cox's Bazar to see first-hand the plights of the refuges in crowded camps. They carried signs, some of which said "We want justice".

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal in November after almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed the border following the military crackdown in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Russia's deputy 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 are no simple solutions.

He stressed the importance of direct engagement, which "sends a very strong signal to those in Myanmar, both the civilian but more importantly military authorities who have been responsible largely for what we've seen, which has been ethnic cleansing and nothing short of that". "But there is no magic solution, there is no magic stick to solve all these issues", The Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

United Nations and U.S. officials have described the crackdown on the Rohingyas, which began in August a year ago, as "ethnic cleansing".

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Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said that in the first month of the crackdown, 6,700 mostly Muslim Rohingya were killed.

Some of the Muslim refugees broke down in tears as they told harrowing stories of murder and rape in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.

Last November, however, the council issued a statement condemning the violence in Rakhine.

Myanmar has faced intense worldwide pressure over the military clampdown against the Rohingya launched last August that the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

On Friday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the atrocities.

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 past year. The council delegates were also expected to travel on to Rakhine to inspect conditions there.

As per the Daily Star, at least 700,000 Rohingya people have fled to Myanmar since violence escalated following a military crackdown in Rakhine state back in August 2017.

During the almost hour-long meeting, Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, also noted Myanmar's difficulties transitioning to rule of law after decades of military dictatorship, said diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity.



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