Rohingya refugees plead for UN help

30 April, 2018, 12:11 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • A Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar Bangladesh Sept. 19 2017

There is no magic solution to Rohingya crisis, the visiting United Nations' Security Council delegation said today after paying a much-anticipated visit to refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

The refugees also presented to the security council a list of demands, which included rehabilitation of their own land and homes; stopping the construction of the IDP camps in Rakhine state which they believe will function simply as prisons for any returning Rohingya; for the Rohingya to be recognised as citizens of Myanmar; and action to be taken by the ICC.

They are scheduled to meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Gonobhaban at 9:30am on Monday and will leave Dhaka at 10:30am for Myanmar.

"Of course, we will discuss this situation, but we will try to find the best possible solutions. 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.

His country and China - another veto-empowered council member - have bilateral and military ties with Naypyidaw. We are not closing our eyes. "It is going to be a disaster when the rains come".

"We can not wait for funding to come in after the emergency is over and possibly preventable tragedies have occurred", said John McCue, IOM's Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox's Bazar.

"This is indeed a very complex issue".

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

He said his other colleagues are ready to work hard to overcome the "dire situation".

Hundreds of thousands of refugees are living in temporary shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulins at Kutupalong, many on steep hills and in low-lying areas likely to be flooded. The crowd broke into loud chants as the delegates got out.


Britain's United Nations ambassador Karen Pierce said the Rohingya "must be allowed to go home in conditions of safety".

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".

He emphasized for constructive dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh. "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.

Bangladesh and Burma agreed in December to begin repatriating the refugees in January, but there were concerns among aid workers and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Burma.

Despite it being the fastest growing refugee crises in the world, global response has been largely muted due to protest from two of Myanmar's allies, Russian Federation and China.

The Permanent Representatives yesterday visited refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and will visit Rakhine state, origin of the Rohingya crisis tomorrow.

On Tuesday, the security council will visit the Rakhine state, where the violence against the Rohingya was carried out, with the main goal of inspecting whether the displaced Rohingya can return safely.

The Myanmar Government said the violence was a justified response to attacks by Rohingya militants in August.

The visit to Myanmar will be very important, Yan Myo Thein, a political analyst told RFA's Myanmar Service.

"The threat of raising this issue in the Security Council shouldn't be used as a leverage for the Myanmar government to cooperate".

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