France welcomes new United Nations special envoy to Myanmar

United Nations Security Council delegates arrive at Sittwe airport in western Myanmar's Rakhine state

UN Security Council Team Visits Northern Rakhine State

Around 700,000 Rohingya fled their homes to squalid camps in Bangladesh previous year as Myanmar's army launched a brutal crackdown following insurgent attacks on security posts.

United Nations Security Council member Mansour Ayyad Al Otaibi (C) talks as delegation members Karen Piece (L) and Gustavo Adolfo Meza Cuadra Velasquez look on during a press conference at the Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on April 30.

It has been learned that Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, announced that the country's government will investigate suspected military-led violence against the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority.

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

The U.N. and rights groups have asked Myanmar to guarantee the safety and basic rights of the Rohingya, who are considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and subject to systematic discrimination.

"We are not asking Myanmar government something new".

Kuwait's ambassador to the UN Mr Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi told reporters yesterday that the Security Council wants refugees to return to their homes in Rakhine State, but this can not take place until Myanmar officials remove conditions and restrictions on their return.

Myanmar can set up such a probe through an International Criminal Court (ICC) referral or by holding its own comprehensive inquiry, she said. "We also mentioned the importance of the investigations regarding what happened there before the refugees went to Bangladesh". They just didn't care to listen to us.

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The U.N. refugee agency and Bangladesh recently finalized a memorandum of understanding that said the repatriation process must be "safe, voluntary and dignified, in line with global standards".

"Their faces clearly showed that they didn't believe anything we said".

Myanmar is facing worldwide criticism for handling the humanitarian crisis inappropriately in Rakhine. It seems that they have been swayed by the accounts of the other side.

Al-Otaibi stressed the necessity of United Nations involvement in the repatriation process and negotiations between Myanmar and the United Nations refugee agency on potential cooperation.

He also pointed out that numerous Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, already living in poor and crowded conditions, face further misery with the early onset on the monsoon season, with a strong risk of landslides and flooding.

An OIC delegation visited the camps in January following the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh after August 25, 2017, when the military and Buddhist mobs torched their homes, wiped out their villages and persecuted them in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, the United Kingdom's minister of state for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, told reporters earlier in the week that Myanmar's agreement to the council visit and a previous visit by the U.N. special envoy for sexual violence in conflict "demonstrates the glimmer of hope in what has been a very dark chapter in human history in that part of the region".

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