No magic solution to Rohingya crisis: UNSC

Simon Moss
May 1, 2018

A UN Security Council team made its way to the no man's land along the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday, hoping to make headway in resolving one of the world's worst refugee crises.

Bangladesh wants them to act "decisively and immediately" to end the sufferings of the Rohingyas.

Myanmar's allies Russian Federation and China - both permanent members with the veto power in the Security Council - have shown resistance to the involvement of the world body in the refugee crisis.

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.

The visit puts a global spotlight back on the crisis amid warnings by the United Nations, aid groups and Burma's panel of worldwide advisers on Rohingya issues that the coming monsoon season would likely worsen the humanitarian situation. "Myanmar must cooperate so Rohingya can return in a safe, dignified and sustainable way".

Representatives from the 15 member countries of the United Nations organ on Sunday spoke with some of the 700,000 people who fled what the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing" in neighbouring Myanmar in a visit aimed at giving representatives a glimpse of the situation firsthand.

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

Rohingya are denied citizenship in overwhelmingly Buddhist Myanmar, where they've faced persecution for decades.

Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed in January to complete the voluntary repatriation of the refugees within two years but differences between the two sides remain and implementation of the plan has been slow.

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They also said the worldwide community is standing beside Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue.

"I will tell them my stories".

Thousands of refugees gathered amid scorching heat at the Kutupalong camp to welcome the visiting delegation.

"But there is no magic solution, there is no magic stick to solve all these issues", he said at a news conference at the Kutupalong refugee camp in the coastal town of Cox's Bazar. A second was later held in the camp.

"That's what we want", Hasina told reporters. "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 council members were "shocked" by the accounts of rapes, murders and torture endured by the Rohingya in Rakhine, according to Mohibullah. 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.

The delegation will also visit Myanmar on Tuesday.

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

The lack of a UNSC resolution to bring sanctions or an arms embargo against Myanmar over its treatment of the Rohingya has drawn much criticism, including from New York-based Human Rights Watch.

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