UN team shocked at Rohingya plight

European Council imposes new measures on Myanmar

The diplomats, who visited the sprawling camps and border points where about 7,00,000 Rohingya have taken shelter, said their visit was an opportunity to see the situation firsthand.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters that the diplomats would not look away from the crisis, but added that finding a solution would be no easy task.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement late previous year to return the Muslim refugees.

He stressed the importance of direct engagement, which "sends a very strong signal to those in Myanmar, both the civilian but more importantly military authorities who have been responsible largely for what we've seen, which has been ethnic cleansing and nothing short of that".

"But there is no magic solution, there is no magic stick to solve all these issues".

The UN delegation will speak to and conduct face-to-face interviews with the refugees in Bangladesh before they head to Myanmar to visit Rakhine, the state where the Rohingya lived before violence intensified against them.

The Myanmar army denies the allegations and casts its campaign as a legitimate response to Rohingya militant attacks on August 25 that killed about a dozen border guard police.

Myanmar security forces were accused of rape, murder, torture and setting Rohingya homes on fire.

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However, while the Security Council is united on travelling to the region, diplomats said they expect Myanmar ally China and Russian Federation - both veto-wielding powers on the council - to resist any push for stronger council action, such as sanctions or a referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.

"We are here to learn more about the situation in order to see how [what] we can do", Velasqez, Peru's ambassador to the United Nations, said at a news conference after visiting the camp. "We need to move very fast because the situation is very dire and very hard", he said.

Rohingya refugees holding placards await the arrival of a UN Security Council team at the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, on April 29, 2018. The UN refugee agency and Bangladesh recently finalized a memorandum of understanding that said the repatriation process must be "safe, voluntary and dignified.in line with worldwide standards".

"The problem there lies in their expulsion, treatment and the fact that they had to flee to Bangladesh", she said.

Desperate Rohingya refugees have rejected Myanmar's proposed ID cards, called national verification cards, saying they want citizenship - something they've been denied by the government in the Buddhist-majority nation. They're derided as "Bengalis", and many in Myanmar believe they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

"I suppose this visit has allowed the Security Council delegation to appreciate the enormity of the challenge that Bangladesh has been tackling".

The US government is conducting an intensive examination of alleged atrocities against Burma's Rohingya that could be used to prosecute Burma's military for crimes against humanity, US officials told Reuters on Wednesday. "They have killed my family members, they tortured us, they will kill us again", said one of the refugees, 29-year-old Mohammed Tayab, standing in front of a tent where he was waiting to meet the United Nations team.

Tayab, who was using crutches, said he was shot in his right leg by Myanmar troops. He said he lost a brother, an uncle and a nephew after Myanmar soldiers shot them dead. According to an account by Agence France-Presse some of the refugees broke down into tears as they told the ambassadors about cases of rape and murder allegedly committed on the Myanmar side of the border.

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