UN Security Council team begins visit to Bangladesh to meet Rohingya refugees

Rohingya refugees

Rohingya refugees

The refugees, driven away by Myanmar military their homes in northern Rakhine, gathered on waysides as the delegation entered the camp in Kutupalong on Sunday holding placards.

Myanmar has said the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out extremists and has rejected almost all allegations that its security forces committed atrocities in the state.

A 24-member delegation from UNSC arrived in Cox's Bazar on Saturday to see firsthand the plights of the Rohingya Muslims crammed in makeshift tents made of plastic sheets and bamboo shafts.

The United Nations has expressed concern over the safety of tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims as the approaching monsoon season threatens their make-shift camps in Southern Bangladesh.

The refugees handed a 13-point charter of demands to the diplomats.

The team will meet some of the refugees, including victims of rape and torture today.

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.

Nearly a million Rohingya refugees live in the Cox's Bazar district under tarpaulins, on steep, sandy slopes - 25,000 of whom have been have been identified as at the highest risk of landslides.

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

After the inspection, the delegates held a news conference.

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"We don't have any magic solution in the Security Council", deputy Russian UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy told reporters in response to a question about whether the council would consider itself responsible for failing to address the crisis.

"But there is no magic solution, there is no magic stick to solve all these issues".

"This will offer the opportunity for a meaningful partnership to help the civilian government resolve the crisis", said the adviser, who was not named in the report.

In November, Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed on a bilateral deal to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya.

Haitao Wu, China's representative in the United Nations, suggested for finding the root causes of the violence in Myanmar.

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

Ms Bishop said the aid money would be given to organisations including the World Food Program, International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations refugee agency. "The UNSC members now understand the depth of the problem", he said adding that the delegation members highly appreciated prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her government's efforts.

While the UNSC visit represents a slight thawing in relations between the global body and Myanmar, the brief tour will have limited time and access to assess the situation.

The UN described the atrocities by the Myanmar military on Rohingya refugees as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing while the rights groups called it a genocide.

Refugees arriving in Bangladesh have said the forces they had fled raped and killed women and children as well as attacking men.

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