Sushma Swaraj to visit Myanmar; focus on Rohingyas

UN Security Council members Mansour Ayyad Al Otaibi from Kuwait Gustavo Meza Cuadra from Peru Joanna Wronecka from Poland and Karen Pierce from Great Britain speak at a press conference in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw

Sushma Swaraj to visit Myanmar; focus on Rohingyas

A United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation was yesterday visiting volatile areas of Myanmar's Rakhine state, from where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled military-led violence, to see firsthand the aftermath of the army's crackdown as well as Myanmar's preparations for taking back the refugees.

Russia's deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy was wary of Security Council involvement though because Myanmar said it was willing to tackle the issue. "One is an ICC [International Criminal Court] referral".

"I hope Bangladesh continues to demonstrate the leadership that has resulted in recognition from around the world, particularly ahead of the challenging monsoon season", Trump said.

He said Hasina reiterated her call for the global community to continue to pressure the Myanmar government to repatriate its people from Bangladesh. This was the council's first visit to Southeast Asia since ambassadors visited East Timor in 2012.

The delegation also met some refugees who had returned from Bangladesh, the government of Rakhine state and civil representatives.

But Suu Kyi, who does not control the military, also told Pierce that "if evidence were available it should be reported to the Burmese authorities and they would investigate".

She did not comment on Min Aung Hlaing's response.

The group inspected facilities prepared by the Myanmar government for the Rohingya refugees' return.

Since then, Washington has been conducing an examination that could be used to prosecute the armed forces for crimes against humanity.

"Basically it's like the mafia investigating itself", said Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch's (HRW) Asia Division. That investigation led to a USA declaration of genocide and the imposition of economic sanctions against the Sudanese government, the news agency said. He said he did not believe the Trump administration would pay serious attention to the findings.

"It's an institution, the army, that has never held its own soldiers accountable for nearly anything", he said, adding that there are already public statements being made by the military, exonerating itself and saying that "claims of rape by its soldiers are "fake news" - they're using [President Donald] Trump's language". "So the investigation can not have that much impact".

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.

Most of the Rohingya, whom the government refers to as Bengalis, are stateless and have been denied access to citizenship under Myanmar's 1982 Citizenship Law, which critics say is discriminatory.

But the United States government is conducting an intensive examination of allegations of atrocities against the Rohingya that could be used to prosecute Myanmar's military officials for crimes against humanity, U.S. officials have told Reuters. "They got to know about what really happened in Rakhine state, and because they have seen and know the truth, we think their attitude will change at least a little". In January, the two countries agreed to complete the process in two years.

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