United Nations official: Conditions aren't right for Rohingyas to return


Myanmar has rejected calls at the UN Security Council for the release of 2 journalists who were arrested after reporting on an alleged massacre of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Haley said powerful forces in Myanmar's government have denied ethnic cleansing in Rakhine, and "to make sure no one contradicts their preposterous denials, they are preventing access to Rakhine to anyone or any organization that might bear witness to their atrocities, including the U.N. Security Council".

In the Security Council on Tuesday, Miroslav Jenca, the assistant secretary general for political affairs, called the events described in the report "deeply disturbing", and the French ambassador, Fran├žois Delattre, said they "could constitute crimes against humanity". In December, two Reuters reporters were arrested after gathering information about mass killings by the military and police forces, as well as by villagers.

He also thanked the European Union for its assistance to manage the influx of displaced Rohingya people who have fled persecution in Myanmar and taken shelter in Bangladesh.

Any push for U.N. Security Council action is likely to face resistance from council veto powers Russian Federation and China, who both said on Tuesday the situation in Rakhine state was stable and under control.

Bangladesh has signed a deal to involve the United Nations in the controversial process of returning Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, a minister said on Monday.

"Using labels and attempts to use contradictory and subjective reports of the media.to find out who's guilty and condemn them only move us farther away from a solution", Russia's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy warned.

Several members of the Council came up with the pledge at the first open council meeting organised by the Kuwaiti Presidency of the Council on the situation in Myanmar at the United Nations on Tuesday, according to a press release of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations received here on Wednesday.

As for the mass grave in Inn Din, Suan said the military's investigation found that 10 members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army - the Rohingya insurgent group that carried out attacks on security forces August 25 - were arrested September 1.

The government is now ready to receive the first group of returnees, Suan said, noting that Myanmar's minister of home affairs will visit Bangladesh on February 15 to discuss repatriation and the problem of about 6,000 Rohingyas stranded at the border.

Myanmar's Hau Do Suan said that an inquiry by the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, had found that 10 Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army militants had been arrested in Inn Din and executed and buried a day later. "This action of the Tatmadaw is positive step forward in taking responsibility and deserves encouragement", he said.

Council President Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi of Kuwait also accused the Myanmar government of carrying out an ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas and said that refugees could not voluntarily return home unless confidence-buiding measures were undertaken.

"Every citizen is bound by the existing law of the land". Permanent Representatives Bernard Tanoh-Boutchoue of Cote d'Ivoire and Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea condemned the action of ARSA, even as they also condemned the Myanmar government for the attacks on the Rohigya.