Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Foreign Affairs Minister Urges OIC to Work Dynamically in Rohingya Issue


Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa has urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play a more constructive role in the resolution of the Rohingya people`s issue in Myanmar.

“The OIC must level its approach towards finding a solution for the Rohingya people. It has been repeatedly voicing strong statements, while Indonesia has been focusing more on action and the results emerging thereafter,” the minister pointed out in a written statement to Antara on Wednesday.

Natalegawa added that Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam will try to urge the OIC to play a more constructive and concrete role in the settlement of Rohingya issue, including problems related to sending humanitarian aid to the Rohingya people, their economic development and reaching a national reconciliation between the conflicted parties in Myanmar.

Indonesia has actively engaged with the Rohingya issue by approaching both the Myanmar government and the displaced Rohingya people living in the country`s Rakhine province. Indonesia has also been raising the subject at various international meets, such as at the U.N., ASEAN and OIC forums.

Ministers of the OIC members had also conducted a meeting on the sidelines of U.N. General Assembly Meeting on Sept. 24.

Violence had erupted in Myanmar`s Rakhine state following the rape and murder of a young woman by three youths from the Yanbye township on May 28, which had resulted in the subsequent killing of 10 passengers aboard a bus in the Taungup township on June 3. In the former case, the victim was a Rakhine Buddhist female, while in the latter incident, the victims were Muslim men.

Following the two incidents, riots had broken out in the Sittway, Maungtaw and Buthidaung townships. The rioters had torched and destroyed houses, shops and guest houses and also committed murders.

The riots had caused the death of 77 people in both communities, while 109 were injured. A total of 4,822 houses, 17 mosques, 15 monasteries, and three schools were burnt to the ground.

The unrest has severely affected both the Rohingya and Rakhine ethnic groups, but human rights groups have accused the Myanmar police and soldiers of taking action only against the Rohingya Muslims after the riots.
The Myanmar government is yet to acknowledge the Rohingya people as citizens of the country.
Credit: Antara news

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