Myanmar in talks with United Nations agencies on return of Rohingya

State television showed the ambassadors touring the border area.

The delegation visited northern Rakhine State yesterday by helicopter, where they met local government representatives and members of civil society. The envoys represent the 15 countries making up the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful body.

An ICC prosecutor asked the global tribunal in April to rule on whether the court can exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh, even though Myanmar is not a member of the ICC.

Worldwide oversight is essential because sending refugees back to where they have just escaped torture, and where it has been made clear to them they are not welcome, needs a lot of ground work and help for the community to heal.

"She led the mediation efforts following the events of 2010 in Thailand, where she was ambassador", the statement said.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in December to begin repatriating the refugees in January, but there were concerns among rights groups and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Myanmar. Thousands are believed to have died.

Sheikh Hasina again urged the worldwide community to continue mounting strong pressure on the Myanmar government to take back their Rohingya nationals from Bangladesh, the report further said. In a subsequent crackdown described by the United Nations and the United States as "ethnic cleansing", Myanmar security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of Rohingya villagers' homes. "We also mentioned the importance of the investigations regarding what happened there before the refugees went to Bangladesh".

"What we really want is just to speed up the process of the ... safe and voluntary, dignified return", he said.

The Security Council delegation will hold a press conference on Tuesday evening in Naypyitaw.

"We believe if the MoUs can be signed quickly and United Nations agencies be given unconditional access, that will be the best thing to do for the scale of the problem - the absolute scale of having to get ... so many refugees back home in security and safety so they can practice their livelihoods over time", Pierce said.

"Severe restrictions on their freedom of movement persist, grossly restricting their access to health care, education and livelihoods", he said. In any case, the United Nations has expressed concern about the return of refugees given the situation in Rakhine.

He also pointed out that numerous Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, already living in poor and crowded conditions, face further misery with the early onset on the monsoon season, with a strong risk of landslides and flooding.

Several Muslim countries and NGOs have been working on the ground and delivering humanitarian aid but, with over a million refugees and hundreds more arriving every day, the situation could explode into a deadly catastrophe, especially when considering the possibility of cyclones, which are common in this region at this time of year. He said India is also of the view that long term solution to the problem in the Rakhine state would be to ensure its socio-economic development.

  • Santos West