Indonesia urges Myanmar to stop violence

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian president Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has appealed to the Myanmar government to stop violence on its people.

"This evening the foreign minister left for Myanmar to urge the Myanmar government to stop and prevent violence and protect all its citizens including Muslims as well as give access to humanitarian aid," he said at the Merdeka Palace here on Sunday.

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

President Jokowi deplored violent incidents that have happened in Myanmar since two weeks ago.

"All people in Indonesia and I deplored the violent incidents that have happened in Myanmars Rakhine state. A concrete action is needed instead of mere condemnation," he said.

He said foreign minister Retno Marsudi would meet with a number of international figures with regard to finding the solution of Myanmars problem.

"I have assigned the foreign minister to conduct intensive communiation with various parties including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and special advisor to Rakhine State Kofi Annan," he said.

Minister Retno Marsudi is scheduled to meet with Myanmars state councillor and foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi who is also the leader of National League for Democracy, the parliaments majority party, on Monday.

The two have met twice before on December 6, 2016 and on December 19, 2016 to discuss solution over the humanitarian tragedy that has affected Muslim Rohingya ethnic group in the Rakhine state.

On Friday (Aug 25) a group of Rohingya fighters carrying knives and self-made bombs, according to the local government, attacked more than 30 police stations in north Rakhine leaving 12 deaths. Tens of militants were reported dead in the clash and subsequent incidents.

The clash has made thousands of civilians to flee and some others dead.

The Human Rights Watch said based on satellite data fires were seen in at least 10 areas.

The government said militants had set the villages of the minority on fire while the fighters linked them with security forces and local Buddhists.

The number of Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh for safety continued to increase. According to the International Organization of Migration Round 18,500 Rohingyas mostly women and children have fked to Bangladesh but Bangladeshi security forces were reported to have barred them from entering that country.

The violent incident on ethnic Rohingya first flared 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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