UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) – The UN Security Council on Wednesday issued a statement calling on Myanmar to speed up efforts to have Rohingya refugees return safely to their homes, while omitting language in an earlier draft that referred to human rights violations.
The statement came after Security Council members returned from a fact-finding mission to Myanmar and Bangladesh from April 28 to May 1.
The Security Council urged Myanmar to “step up its efforts to create conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine State and to address the root causes of the crisis.”
A previous draft written by Britain and backed by France and the United States had called for “transparent investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations,” but was rejected by China.
Also Tuesday, four NGOs — Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, Fortify Rights, and The Global Center for Responsibility to Protect — called on the world body to appeal to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity committed in Burma.
Myanmar has come under international scrutiny since a military campaign launched in August 2017 drove more than 700,000 Rohingya from their homes in northern Rakhine state.
Myanmar has said the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out extremists and has rejected accusations from the United Nations, Britain, France and the United States of “ethnic cleansing.”