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UN Security Council delegation visiting northern Rakhine

UN Security Council delegation visiting northern Rakhine

However, Canberra has chosen not to follow the UK's lead and suspend military cooperation with the Myanmar army that is accused of orchestrating the ethnic cleansing. The military has been accused of massive human rights violations - including rape, killing, torture, and the burning of Rohingya homes - that the United Nations and USA officials have called ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar can set up such a probe through an International Criminal Court (ICC) referral or by holding its own comprehensive inquiry, she said.

A 24-member delegation representing the council's five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members spent two days in Myanmar to assess the situation on the ground in Rakhine state amid a program to begin repatriating Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.

"In order to have accountability there must be a proper investigation", said Pierce adding, "It doesn't matter whether it is global or domestic, as long as it's credible".

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. "What we've got to do on the council is to think how best to turn that into something operational, so that the evidence gets collected and given either to the Burmese authorities or to some sort of global mechanism".

In a report published on December 12, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence.

"The Tatmadaw (army) is always disciplined... and takes action against anyone who breaks the law", he told the delegates, according to a posting late Monday on his official Facebook page.

He denied that soldiers under his command had committed sexual violence during the crackdown, contradicting hundreds of testimonies recorded by global organizations in Cox's Bazar.

During his meeting late Monday with the United Nations envoys, Myanmar's army chief denied his forces had committed rape and other sexual abuses during the crackdown which he ordered.




During the meeting, the army distributed documents and photo albums related to the Rakhine issue to the members of the UNSC team.

"I told them that if the global community, including United Nations agencies, can give positive suggestions to Myanmar's policymakers, there will be some good results", said the Muslim leader and founder of the interfaith group Religions for Peace Myanmar. They also called for speeding up the process of safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Rohingyas.

The United Nations General Assembly could alternatively create an global inquiry into the most serious crimes committed against the Rohingya, similar to what the UN has done in Syria.

"Basically the message that we conveyed was that it was very important to improve the security conditions of the return of the refugees", he said, recalling the visit.

He said the team will return to Dhaka, the capital, on Sunday and is expected to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday morning before leaving for Myanmar.

Maansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, Kuwait's permanent representative at the United Nations and a member of the delegation, expressed confidence that the agreement would be signed, adding that the United Nations wants Myanmar and Bangladesh to speed up the repatriation process. "We also mentioned the importance of the investigations regarding what happened there before the refugees went to Bangladesh". "This is the reality that must be changed if refugees are to be reasonably expected to return".

Aung San Suu Kyi was helpful and asked the council to share evidence with Myanmar authorities, she said, adding that the Security Council would reflect on how best to respond to the State Counsellor's Office, including an investigation mechanism to provide it with evidence.

The report is based on the reports of Reuters, AP, AFP, UN News, Aljazeera and Frontier Myanmar.


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