Published: Tue, May 01, 2018
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

Approaching monsoon puts Rohingya refugees at higher risk, says UN

Approaching monsoon puts Rohingya refugees at higher risk, says UN

"The message we are conveying to Myanmar, to refugees and to the rest of the world that we are determined to find an end and a solution to the crisis", Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otabi, permanent representative of Kuwait, said in Dhaka on behalf of the delegation.

The security council will meet with Bangladesh's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday in Dhaka before flying to Myanmar's administrative capital Naypyidaw to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of the Myanmar government and military.

A delegation of the United Nations Security Council on Saturday began a three-day visit to Bangladesh to observe firsthand the condition of the Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar after a violent military crackdown a year ago, AP reported.

"Due to the influx of the Rohingyas, the local Bangladeshis are enduring serious sufferings in the area", she added.

Their ouster from Myanmar was termed a textbook example of ethnic cleansing, and rights groups called it a genocide.

The 15-strong body of the UN was united on travelling to Bangladesh, but there is resistance by Myanmar allies China and Russian Federation that have veto powers in the highest decision making body, over how involved the council should be.

Some of the Rohingyas are seen displaying placards that read: "We want justice", "Welcome to UNSC delegation" and "Not Bangali, Yes Rohingyas".

During the meeting, US Representative Kelly Currie highly appreciated the Prime Minister's role saying that she has raised a level for all creating a new worldwide standard by working from a humanitarian point of view. "Myanmar must cooperate so Rohingya can return in a safe, dignified and sustainable way".

"We've signed an agreement, they (Myanmar) don't deny that they've signed the agreement", she said.

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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".

United Nations and USA officials have described the crackdown on the Rohingyas, which began in August past year, as "ethnic cleansing".

"We are here to learn more about the situation in order to see what we can do", he told reporters. This solution can not come very quick.

"We need to be able to act now if lives are to be saved", he said.

The Security Council asked Myanmar in November to ensure no "further excessive use of military force" and to allow "freedom of movement, equal access to basic services, and equal access to full citizenship for all".

"Tarp stocks are also rapidly running out and the IOM, which oversees shelter distribution, reports that by mid-May supplies will fall below critical levels", McCue said.

The Security Council members are making their way to the region.

"We have been concerned that things are going slow".

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