The United Nation Security Council (UNSC) team has asked the Myanmar government to conduct a proper investigation into alleged human rights abuses in northern Rakhine State.
On Tuesday, the UNSC members urged the Myanmar government immediate repatriation of thousands of refugees from Bangladesh with the help of UN agencies, Myanmar Times reported.
The delegation, which was accompanied by representatives of Myanmar’s neighbouring countries and ASEAN chair Singapore, went to Nay Pyi Taw on a two-day visit, and to northern Rakhine.
They also visited the centre of humanitarian conflict in Rakhine called Maungdaw.
Myanmar is facing international criticism for handling the humanitarian crisis inappropriately in Rakhine. It has been witnessing inter-communal violence since 2012.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi assured that the government will conduct an investigation of alleged human rights abuses, if there is any evidence, Karen Pierce, the UK’s permanent representative of the UNSC was quoted as saying by Myanmar Times.
As requested by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Security Council will also help the government to implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan.
The UNSC delegation said they expect to see progress in Myanmar’s repatriation of refugees displaced during the violence in Rakhine over the past two years.
Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, the permanent representative of Kuwait to the UNSC was quoted as saying by the Myanmar Times, “What we really want is ‘just to speed up the process of the return of refugees – a safe, voluntary and dignified return for them.”
According to Dhaka Tribune, earlier Myanmar had said that its neighbour has only handed back 8,000 repatriation forms so far, many of them are incomplete, which is delaying the return process.
Myanmar also denied the Rohingya citizenship and accompanying rights. Since 2012 it has driven out two-thirds of its roughly 1.5 million Rohingya population.
In March last year, China and Russia, both members of the UNSC, blocked a statement by the council concerning alleged human rights abuses in Rakhine State.
Earlier on April 30, Prime Minister Hasina sought help from China, Russia, India, and Japan to resolve the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.