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Create ‘conducive’ conditions for Rohingyas’ safe, dignified return: UNSC to Myanmar

The (United Nations Security Council) UNSC members said they were struck by the scale of the humanitarian crisis and remain "gravely concerned" by the current situation.

By: PTI | United Nations |
May 10, 2018 8:50:50 pm
Rohingya crisis A team of the United Nations’ powerful body visited Bangladesh and Myanmar from April 28 to May 1, and took a first-hand look at the humanitarian crisis. (AP photo)

The UN Security Council has urged Myanmar to create “conducive” conditions to ensure safe and dignified return of Rohingya Muslim refugees and hold accountable perpetrators of violence, including sexual abuse against children.

Since August last year, nearly 700,000 minority Muslim Rohingyas have fled violence in Myanmar across the border into Bangaldesh’s Cox’s Bazar, joining several hundred thousand more that were already settled there in overcrowded camps. A team of the United Nations’ powerful body visited Bangladesh and Myanmar from April 28 to May 1, and took a first-hand look at the humanitarian crisis.

“The members of the Security Council urged the government of Myanmar to step up its efforts to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in the Rakhine State and to address the root causes of the crisis through implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations, including those related to human rights, citizenship, poverty alleviation and development,” the Council said in a statement.

In light of the importance of undertaking transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations, they also urged Myanmar to fulfil its stated commitment to holding accountable perpetrators of violence, including sexual violence and abuse and violence against children. The Council members said they were struck by the scale of the humanitarian crisis and remain “gravely concerned” by the current situation. In Bangladesh, the members of the Security Council visited the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, where they met Rohingya refugees.

They also met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Minister of State Mohammed Shahriar Alam, acting Foreign Secretary M Khurshed Alam, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammed Abul Kalam, other senior government officials and representatives of the UN country team in Bangladesh. The members of the Security Council appreciated the Bangladesh Government’s efforts to provide refugees protection and assistance and expressed their determination to continue supporting Bangladesh in providing refugees with sustainable support.

In Myanmar, the members of the Security Council met State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing among other high-ranking government officials. They also visited the Rakhine state and observed the situation, including widespread destruction of villages, as well as reception centres and transit camps under preparation by the government of Myanmar. The members welcomed the signing of an MoU and the Arrangement on the Return of Displaced Persons from the Rakhine state between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

They urged Myanmar to work with Bangladesh and the UN to allow the voluntary return of all refugees in conditions of safety and dignity to their homes in Myanmar, including through intensified bilateral consultations and implementation of the MoU and the Arrangement.

The members also called on the government of Myanmar to grant the UN agencies and their partners immediate, safe and unhindered access to the Rakhine state, as well as to other domestic and international non-governmental organisations providing humanitarian assistance, and as an initial confidence-building measure.

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