Myanmar to probe alleged violence against Rohingya


"It is very important to improve the security conditions for the return of the refugees [and] also improve cooperation with worldwide organizations, particularly the United Nations", said Security Council President Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.

Those on the ground fear the rains will cause loss of life, destroy the bamboo and plastic shacks, block access roads, and potentially turn the area into a breeding ground for contagious disease.

An global appeal for $951 million for humanitarian aid for the refugees and their host communities was only 10 percent funded, he added.

The clashed initially broke out in 2011, the recent violence hints at another case of ethnic cleansing.

The OIC delegation heard first-hand accounts from the Rohingya of acts of torture, rape and murder perpetrated against them.

Rohingya Muslims have always been treated as outsiders in Myanmar, even though their families have lived in the country for generations. It sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Violence has no place in a democratic Myanmar. The UN says the Rohingya's situation is the "world's fastest-growing refugee crisis".

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a deal for the return of refugees earlier this year, but with the repatriation delayed, concern is growing as Myanmar has refused to allow any worldwide body, including the United Nations, to oversee the process until very recently. The program was slated to begin in late January but has been beset by delays. The repatriation agreement still has many aspects that have not been worked out.

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"I also told her that now that she had seen both the situations in Bangladesh and in Rakhine, I hope you can form an impartial judgment about them".

This picture taken from Maungdaw district, Myanmar's Rakhine state on April 25, 2018 shows Rohingya refugees gathering behind a barbed-wire fence in a temporary settlement setup in a "no man's land" border zone between Myanmar and Bangladesh. That investigation led to a USA declaration of genocide and the imposition of economic sanctions against the Sudanese government, the news agency said.

Al-Otaibi stressed the necessity of United Nations involvement in the repatriation process and negotiations between Myanmar and the United Nations refugee agency on potential cooperation.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported Tuesday that envoys from the U.N. Security Council have traveled to Myanmar's northern Rakhine state, which was home to some 1.1 million Rohingya who are not granted citizenship rights, living in what Amnesty International called "apartheid-like" conditions.

The State Counsellor said, "The basis for return must be that it is safe, dignified and voluntary". They also reiterated the need to ensure refugees' security. They are a member of the United Nations and they are a member and state party to many U.N. conventions.

Not long after Myanmar army carried out targeted killings of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state, it has now been accused of committing atrocities against Christians in the northernmost state of the country, Kachin.

Maha Akeel is director of the Public Information and Communication Department at the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).