BD wants China, Russia, India, Japan to help resolve Rohingya issue:PM

A demonstration by the group. Image Credit The British Rohingya Community  Facebook

A U.N. Security Council delegation paid an unprecedented visit Sunday to Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, with diplomats saying they wanted to get a close look at a "still dire" situation affecting some 1 million people who had fled violence in Myanmar.

The recent spasm of violence in Myanmar began when Rohingya insurgents staged a series of attacks on August 25 on about 30 security outposts and other targets.

They will go on to Myanmar where they are to meet civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed in December to begin repatriating the refugees in January, but there were concerns among aid workers and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Myanmar.

The team members will conclude their three-day visit to Bangladesh on Monday, when they leave for Myanmar.

The deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN, Kelley Eckels Currie, described the visit as "quite overwhelming".

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Rohingya population flocked to meet the delegation - five permanent members from China, France, Russia, UK and the USA, and 10 other non-permanent members - at Kutupalong camp, wielding posters and demanding safe repatriation back to Myanmar.

On Friday, Human Rights Watch called for the Rohingya refugee crisis to be referred to the International Criminal Court in view of the lack of a UN Security Council resolution.

"The worldwide community should keep up pressure on the Myanmar government in this regard", she said.

Thousands of refugees gathered at the Kutupalong camp to welcome the visiting delegation.

The Tatmadaw - another name for Burma's military - has denied accusations of genocide and ethnic cleansing, maintaining it is carrying out legitimate response to attacks by "terrorist" Rohingya rebel groups.

So far, at least 700,000 Rohingya people have fled into Myanmar since violence escalated following a military crackdown in Rakhine state back in August a year ago.

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"We are standing here to demand justice as they (Burma's military) have killed our men and tortured our women so much, so we are compelled to seek justice for those abuses", Rohingya refugee Sajida Begum told Reuters.

"We told them that we're staying here to save our lives". Myanmar authorities claim the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out extremists and have denied nearly all reports of alleged atrocities committed by its security forces in the region.

He said that on Tuesday, the United Nations delegates would be taken to refugee reception centres as well as villages in northern Rakhine.

Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi said the visit was not about "naming and shaming" Myanmar, but that "the message will be very clear for them: the worldwide community is following the situation and has great interest in resolving it".

Leading global rights group Human Rights Watch called on Friday for the Rohingya crisis to be referred to the worldwide Criminal Court.

The Security Council asked Myanmar in November to ensure no "further excessive use of military force" and to allow "freedom of movement, equal access to basic services, and equal access to full citizenship for all".

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