UNITED NATIONS (OBSERVATORY) – UN Security Council envoys began a four-day visit to Bangladesh and Myanmar on Saturday to get a first-hand look at the aftermath of a military crackdown launched by Myanmar and denounced by Britain, the United States and others as ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.
The envoys are scheduled to meet Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Myanmar’s acting leader Aung San Suu Kyi and travel to Rakhine state where violence broke out eight months ago. Myanmar denies accusations of ethnic cleansing.
Attacks by Rohingya gunmen at security centers in Rakhine on August 25 prompted the army to carry out an operation that forced some 700,000 Rohingyas to flee to camps in Cox-Bazar, Bangladesh. Council envoys will visit the camps on Sunday.
The visit highlights the crisis amid warnings from the United Nations, relief groups and the International Committee of Advisers on Myanmar’s Rohingya issues that the next rainy season is likely to worsen the humanitarian situation.