UN Security Council envoys to visit Bangladesh, Myanmar

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A delegation from the UN Security Council will travel to Bangladesh and Myanmar this month to get a first-hand look at the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Speaking at a daily press briefing, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said all 15 council ambassadors will make the April 26 to May 2 trip.

Emphasizing his expectation that the ambassadors will unite over the crisis, Dujarric said he hopes the visit will also draw the international community’s attention to the plight of Rohingya who were forced to flee Myanmar due to persecution and take refuge in Bangladesh.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, some 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar when Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to the UN. At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.

In a report published on Dec. 12, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

Dujarric said the delegation will also visit Iraq to show support ahead of parliamentary and provincial assembly elections on May 12.

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