The United Nations Security Council is continuing its mission to Bangladesh and Myanmar, taking a first-hand look at the plight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled across the border to escape violence.
On Monday, the delegation of diplomats from the Council’s 15 member countries arrived in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw, holding meetings with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as well as General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
Ambassadors also met with civil society, parliamentarians and Government representatives.
On Tuesday, the Council members will fly to Rakhine State – the epicenter of the mass displacement crisis, which has been caused by a recurring cycle of clashes between mainly Buddhist residents in the State, and Rohingya Muslims who’ve also lived there for decades.
According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 671,000 Rohingya refugees have fled targeted violence and serious human rights violations in Myanmar since last August.
In Rakhine, the delegation is expected to meet local government representatives and civil society.
Last week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Christine Schraner Burgener of Switzerland as his new Special Envoy on Myanmar, to strengthen the world body’s efforts to assist Myanmar’s peace and reconciliation process.
The UN Spokesperson added that over the weekend, the Council delegation visited Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, where they listened to testimony from refugees at the Kutupalong Camp.
Before departing for Myanmar early on Monday, the delegation met with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, in Dhaka.