Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh urged a visiting delegation from the U.N. Security Council to pursue justice for Myanmar’s military campaign.
Refugees presented a list of demands to the 15-member delegation during its visit, including citizenship, rehabilitation of destroyed homes and bringing Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
Despite emotional scenes, in which sobbing refugees threw themselves into the arms of visiting officials who described the visit as “overwhelming,” any U.N.Security Council effort to put sanctions on Myanmar or refer the case to the ICCwill likely face a veto from China and Russia.
The delegation met with Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina who urged them to ask Myanmar to take back refugees under U.N. supervision. They also traveled to Myanmar and met with civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the military commander-in-chief Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who both offered pledges to investigate abuses.
The officials were permitted to visit Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where a brutal crackdown sent 700,000 refugees fleeing over the border last summer. Myanmar had previously blocked a U.N.-appointed fact-finding committee from visiting the area.
Local officials took the U.N. delegates to reception centers being built for displaced Rohingya. The refugees urged the delegation to call for a halt to construction, fearing they will effectively be confined to prison camps.