Video: 12-year-old Rohingya girl recounts horror of escape to UN Security Council envoys

Rohingya Refugee Repatriation Commissioner's Office, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh Published: May 02, 2018, 05:03 PM(IST)

'After surrounding the villagers, they separated the men and killed them. Then they selected some beautiful women, raped them and burned their houses,' said Zohra Begum. Photograph:( Reuters )

Zohra Begum, 12, was one of several Rohingya refugees who met United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members over the weekend during their visit to the camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

She and hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims had fled a military crackdown in Rakhine state which was launched after Rohingya insurgents attacked security posts last August.

In her meeting with the UNSC envoys whose main object was to see the aftermath of the military operation in Rakhine, she and the other refugees told them of their experiences.

Zohra described how the Myanmar military fired continuously as they entered and seized the village.

"After surrounding the villagers, they separated the men and killed them. Then they selected some beautiful women, raped them and burned their houses," she said.

"They snatched away children from the laps of women, killed and threw them into a canal. Later, when I was running away, they shot me on my upper thigh and I jumped into the canal. I was injured by a bullet, and I was floating in the water when a man rescued me," she added.

Zohra, along with her brother Khairul Amin, are the only survivors of a 16-member family. They now live with their aunt and uncle in Balukhali camp.

United Nations and rights groups say nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh so far.

Britain's U.N. envoy on Tuesday (May 1) suggested the U.N. Security Council could consider helping Myanmar collect evidence of crimes committed during the military crackdown, denounced by the world body as ethnic cleansing after most recent bout of persecution of the Muslim minority last year.

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi pledged investigations if credible evidence was provided and military chief Min Aung Hlaing vowed "harsh action" over sexual violence during separate meetings with Security Council envoys in the country's capital Naypyitaw on Monday (April 30), diplomats said.

But Suu Kyi's civilian government has little control over the Myanmar military.

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