Back Page

Rohingya Crisis: UNSC calls meeting on August 28

The UN Security Council has called for a meeting on August 28 to discuss the ongoing Rohingya crisis, among other issues related to Myanmar.

Diplomatic sources said the Security Council has called for the meeting, to be addressed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has called the Rohingya crisis “ethnic cleansing”, to mark the one-year anniversary of Myanmar's violent crackdown on the Rohingyas.

Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK's permanent representative to the UN and this month's UNSC president, will chair the briefing session.

She said the UK wants the meeting to focus on gaining “unconditional access” to Myanmar for the UN refugee and development agencies so they can work with the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments “to make a credible plan to get the refugees back home in safety, with dignity and security”.

The UNSC meeting is taking place after its last meeting on July 23 when it urged the government of Myanmar to step up its efforts to create conditions conducive to safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.

The UN also asked Myanmar to ensure that the Rohingyas, upon return from Bangladesh, can enjoy all the rights typical for the citizens of any country in the world.

It also stressed the importance of undertaking independent and transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations.

In another development, after two months of signing an agreement with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and UNDP, Myanmar on August 10 approved the travel of staff of UN agencies who would conduct       preliminary assessment in some 23 villages in Rakhine in order to activate the MoU.

Meanwhile, a high-powered Bangladesh delegation, led by Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, visited Myanmar and held talks with Myanmar ministers during the four-day visit on August 9-12.

“Bangladesh delegation also saw the trail of wide-spread devastation suffered by the people of the northern Rakhine State,” said a foreign ministry press release issued on Saturday after the delegation's visit to Rakhine.

Ahead of the UNSC meeting, Bangladesh accused Myanmar of failing to tackle the concerns of over one million Rohingyas and urged the UN Security Council to take action to ensure their safe return home.

Bangladesh's UN ambassador, Masud Bin Momen, said in a letter to the council circulated on August 7 that while his government continues to engage with Myanmar "in good faith" on arrangements to return the Rohingya, "we regret that the necessary conditions for safe and sustainable return do not exist in Myanmar."

“Nor has Myanmar taken any demonstrable effort to address the concerns of the Rohingyas and the international community," Momen added, reports AP.