Indonesia has reaffirmed its commitment to address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and emphasized the importance of synergizing with Indonesian civil society and the international community during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, in Astana, Kazakhstan.(Photo courtesy of the Vice President's Office)
Indonesia Urges OIC, International Community, to Address Myanmar Conflict
SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
Jakarta. Indonesia has reaffirmed its commitment to address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and emphasized the importance of synergizing with Indonesian civil society and the international community during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, in Astana, Kazakhstan.
"Indonesia also urges all countries, including member countries of the OIC, to continue constructive engagement. [We] invite fellow member countries to prioritize real support to help all citizens in Rakhine State, while also helping all stakeholders in Myanmar to address the root causes experienced by the Rohingya community," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe.
Fifty-seven heads of states and governments belonging to the OIC gathered for a special meeting on the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar on the sidelines of the first OIC Summit of Science and Technology on Sunday (10/09) and produced an outcome document calling on the government of Myanmar "to take all necessary measures and inter-communal harmony to restore peace and inter-communal harmony," among other things.
Indonesia was represented at the summit by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
More than 300,000 people have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since violence broke out between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar security forces last month. More people are trapped on the border, with surging reports of the burning of villages and extrajudicial killings.
Last week, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited Myanmar and Bangladesh, where she held meetings with officials of both governments to discuss the problem of refugees crossing to escape escalating violence and conflict in deeply divided Rakhine State.
During her meeting with Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, Retno expressed the importance of including what she called the "4+1 Formula" for the troubled region.
That approach includes restoring stability and security, maximizing self-restraint and desisting from violence, providing inclusive protection to everyone in Rakhine State and allowing open access for humanitarian aid to enter the region.
Furthermore, Retno also touched on the importance of Myanmar implementing recommendations laid out by advisory commission on Rakhine State led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
These approaches were also endorsed collectively by the OIC, which further included calls on the Myanmar government to tackle "the rise of hate speech and the spread of propaganda by right wing extremists against the Rohingya population" as well as ensuring "the right of each individual to live and move without fear and persecution based on their religion or ethnicity."
On Monday, the top UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, referred to Myanmar government’s "cruel military operation" as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."
As the humanitarian and security crisis in Myanmar deteriorate rapidly, mounting calls have been made by analysts, human rights activists and prominent public figures for the international community to step up their diplomatic pressures on the government and do more to protect the country’s persecuted minority, the Rohingyas.
The same calls have also been made toward neighboring Bangladesh and India, whose proximity warrant better capability to provide immediate support toward Myanmar refugees in need.