Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Rohingya Muslims Protest in Bangladeshi Camp Calling for UN Protection

Nur works in the evenings so he can run BRC. Image The British Rohingya Community  Facebook Nur works in the evenings so he can run BRC. Image The British Rohingya Community Facebook
Alonzo Parks | 01 May, 2018, 12:45

The recent spasm of violence in Myanmar began when Rohingya insurgents staged a series of attacks on August 25 on about 30 security outposts and other targets.

Myanmar security forces were accused of rape, murder, torture and setting Rohingya homes on fire.

United Nations resident coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo in a tweet termed the visit of UNSC team to Bangladesh a historic one.

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 previous year.

The 15-member delegation co-led by Security Council President Gustavo Meza-Cuadra was joined by Rakhine state and central government officials and ministers heading to Maungdaw in northern Rakhine where the Myanmar government has built reception camps for the Rohingya refugees now living in camps and other temporary shelters in Bangladesh.

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

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.

The visiting UN Security Council (UNSC) team on Sunday promised to work hard to resolve the Rohingya crisis but ruled out any sanction by the council anytime soon, reports UNB.

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"It may take some time but we'd like to hear from the government of Myanmar how they wish to work with the worldwide community", she said. "They are in desperate need of support and protection and we simply do not have the funding we need to deliver a fraction of what is required", said McCue.

The envoys visited camps on Sunday, where distraught refugees pleaded for help ahead of the coming monsoon season.

They are due to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Burma's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and travel to Rakhine State, where the violence erupted eight months ago.

"We told them that we're staying here to save our lives". They will also take a helicopter flight over Rakhine to see the remains of villages torched during the violence. Some carried placards reading "We want justice".

The Security Council officials will also hear from officials in Myanmar.

IOM's Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox's Bazar (where thousands Rohingya Muslims are putting up) John McCue, said, "We can not wait for funding to come in after the Emergency is over and possibly preventable tragedies have occurred". Myanmar authorities claim the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out extremists and have denied nearly all reports of alleged atrocities committed by its security forces in the region.

Bangladesh's acting foreign secretary, M. Khurshed Alam, said the delegation's visit is "very significant", with global pressure on Myanmar continuing to mount to ensure the safe and voluntary return of the refugees, who are seeking protection from the United Nations.

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

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