Eight countries requested the UN to discuss the fate of Rohingya Muslims as Amnesty International reported the Myanmar security forces’ devastating campaign against them in Rakhine state is "far from over."
Britain, France, the United States and five other countries asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to discuss the fate of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees driven from Myanmar, diplomats said.
The council will hold a meeting on Tuesday to hear UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi report on the crisis sparked by an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in August.
Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Equatorial Guinea requested the talks along with the three permanent council members.
The meeting comes nearly three months after the council adopted a statement demanding that Myanmar rein in its security forces and allow the Rohingya to return to their homes.
More than 750,000 Rohingya have been driven from the country to Bangladesh, fleeing soldiers accused of killings, rape and burning down villages.
Fresh evidence of human right abuses
On Wednesday, Amnesty International released more evidence of human rights abuses against the Rohingya minority.
“Shielded by official denials and lies, and a concerted effort to deny access to independent investigators, Myanmar’s military continues to get away with crimes against humanity,” said Matthew Wells, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.
"Myanmar’s security forces are building on entrenched patterns of abuse to silently squeeze out of the country as many of the remaining Rohingya as possible,"
"Without more effective international action, this ethnic cleansing campaign will continue its disastrous march,"Wells added.
Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed last month to repatriate the Rohingya over a period of two years, but the UN has expressed concerns after the UN refugee agency UNHCR was kept out of the agreement.
The General Assembly in December adopted a resolution asking Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to name a special envoy to Myanmar, but that appointment has yet to be made.
China, a supporter of Myanmar's former ruling junta, and Russia voted against the resolution. Both hold veto power at the council.
Myanmar's government also turned down a visit by council envoys to Rakhine state, saying it was "not the right time," Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi said.