Rohingya Crisis: UN to visit Rakhine for the first time

By Shafiq Mitul
UN representatives are permitted to visit the Rakhine state of Myanmar as around 7,00,000 minority Rohingya Muslims are expected to flee to other neighbouring countries. Myanmar’s military operations led to massive exodus to neighbouring countries, most of them going to Bangladesh.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, “There will be a trip organised by the government, probably on Thursday, to Rakhine.”

“We hope above all that it is a first step toward much freer and wider access to the area,” he added at his daily news briefing. Stephane said the chiefs of UN agencies would take part in the trip.
We hope above all that it is a first step toward much freer and wider access to the area.

Rohingya Muslim refugees carry an elderly woman in a basket and walk towards a camp in (Photo courtesy: Hindustan Times/AP)

UN has planned to feed 4,00,000 Rohingya refugees and gave a warning that those who fled won’t return back soon. “All the UN agencies together have now set a plan for a new influx of 7,00,000. We can cover if the new influx reaches 7,00,000,” the World Food Program’s deputy chief in Bangladesh, Dipayan Bhattacharyya, said on Wednesday.

The Myanmar military earlier this week accused Rohingya militants for the killings of 45 Hindus villagers. The army has restricted the press access in the conflict area while it posts updates of blaming Rohingya militants for the massive massacre. The Myanmar administration also highlights the suffering of other ethnic groups such as Rakhine Buddhists, Hindus due to the communal unrest. Although the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) has denied all the allegations and said that its members did not perpetrated murder, sexual violence or any forcible recruitment in the area.

The UN visit will come on the same day that the  UN Security Council meets on the situation in Myanmar. The council demanded immediate action to end the crisis and showed concern about excessive force used by the military. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will address the UN Security Council during its open door session. Guterres, who was a UN high commissioner for refugees, knows Rakhine and the context of the current crisis intimately.

Five key priorities to address the rohingya crisis:

  • Crimes against humanity have taken place and must be exposed
  • Ongoing persecution of rohingya inside myanmar must be stopped
  • Rohingya in bangladesh are still at risk and must be protected
  • Repatriation of rohingya to myanmar is a dim prospect but an essential part of any sustainable solution
  • Several steps toward accountability are available but have not yet been taken

(Source: PTI, FirstPost)