Tearful Rohingya plead with visiting United Nations team in Bangladesh

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

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

Today she chaired a meeting of 15 United Nations delegates, according to a Ministry of Information photograph, as the United Nations tries to put more pressure on Myanmar to allow refugees to return safely. In a subsequent crackdown described by United Nations and US officials as "ethnic cleansing", Myanmar security forces have been accused of rape, killing, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes.

Numerous refugees have previously provided testimony of murder, rape, torture and the burning of Rohingya homes by Myanmar security forces and local mobs.

"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.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters that the diplomats would not look away from the crisis, but added that finding a solution would be no easy task.

The diplomats, made up of representatives from the five permanent Security Council members - China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States - and 10 non-permanent member states, talked to some 120 refugees, including some who claimed to be rape victims.

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

Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts in Rakhine State in August previous year sparked a military operation that Myanmar said was a legitimate response.

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.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement late past year to return the Muslim refugees.

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

"This is the message that we want to convey to you".

On Tuesday, the security council will visit the Rakhine state, where the violence against the Rohingya was carried out, with the main goal of inspecting whether the displaced Rohingya can return safely. "They are in desperate need of support and protection and we simply do not have the funding we need to deliver a fraction of what is required", said McCue.

The Security Council has been urging Buddhist-majority Myanmar to allow the refugees to return home safely and to work on ending the decades of discrimination against the Muslim minority.

Myanmar has said the military operation in Rakhine was mounted to root out extremists and has rejected almost all allegations that its security forces committed atrocities. The council has the power to refer matters to the worldwide criminal court (ICC) and to deploy peacekeepers.

Myanmar authorities consider Rohingya to be Bengali immigrants from Bangladesh, and even refrain from using the word "Rohingya", even though the protesting refugees said on Sunday they belong to Myanmar, where they have been living for centuries.

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