Indonesia already extends aid to Myanmar

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has already extended a number of aids to reduce the burden of the people in Myanmar especially in Rakhine state, President Joko Widodo said here on Sunday.

"To deal with humanitarian problems caused by conflict the government sent ten containers of food and medical supplies in January and February," he said at Merdeka State Palace.

He made the statement in the company of coordinating minister for political, security and legal affairs Wiranto, minister/ state secretary Pratikno and deputy foreign minister AM Fachir.

"Indonesia has also built schools in Rakhine and soon in October a hospital," he added.

The two schools dedicated in January this year are located in La Ma village and Thet Kay Pyia Ywar Ma village. They were built from donations collected from the people under the coordination of Pos Keadilan Peduli Ummah (PKPU) which is one of the members of the Alliance of Indonesian Humanitarian Institutes (ALKI) that has been actively providing humanitarian aid to Myanmar.

"Indonesia has also received refugees and given them the best assistance. Again the violence, humanitarian crisis must immediately be stopped," he said.

President Joko Widodo said he had also assigned foreign minister Retno Marsudi to go to Bangladesh that borders Myanmar.

"I have assigned the foteign minister to go to Dhaka in Bangladesh in the framework of preparing humanitarian aids needed by refugees in Bangladesh. We hope we will again send food and medical supplies this week," he said.

On Friday (Aug 28) a group of Rohingya guerilla group wielding with knives and bombs, according to the local government, have attacked more than 30 police stations in North Rakhine leaving 12 officers and tens of militants dead in the clash.

Thousands of civilians fled due to the incident and some of them had died.

The Human Rights Watch saud based on satellite data fires had been recorded in at least 10 areas.

The local government said that militants had burned the villages of the minority while the guerillas linked it to government security forces and Buddhists.

The number of Rohingya people fleeing to Bangladesh continued to increase. According to the International Organization of Migration until August 30 around 18,500 Rohingya people mostky women and children have fled to Bangladesh but it was reported that Bangladeshi forces have barred them from entering that country.

The violent incident on ethnic Rohingya first flared up in 2012. The Myanmar government then which was controlled by military junta conducted a census starting on March 30, 2014 lasting for 12 days but it was found they did not register ethnic Muslim Rohingya. In the census they gave code numbers for ethnic groups recognized by the government excluding Rohingya.

The census showed 2.3 percent of total population of Myanmar were Muslims spreading across states but they did not belong to the Rohingya as the government of Myanmar did not recognize the Muslim Rohingya ethnic group.

The Myanmar government has always said that Rohingya people are illegal migrants from Bangladesh and denied their citizenship despite statements from many Rohingya people that they have stayed in Myanmar for generations. They have so far lived in the poorest region in Myanmar while their movement and access have been limited.

Source: ANTARA News

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