Sunday, 24th September 2017

Indonesia commits to help "de-escalate" crisis in Myanmar: Minister

3rd September 2017 | 2.000 Views
Indonesia commits to help
The Rohingyas children were forced to leave their country to avoid violent conflict in Myanmar. (Reuters)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has said that the Indonesian government has been committed to help the Myanmar authorities de-escalate humanitarian crisis in that country.

"Instead of merely issuing statements we (Indonesian government) have chosen to do something to support and help the community affected by the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar," Marsudi remarked before welcoming Costa Ricas Foreign Affairs Minister Manuel Gonzalez Sans in Jakarta on Sunday.

Minister Marsudi is scheduled to leave for Myanmar in the evening to carry out her mission to help Myanmar deal with the crisis.

During her forthcoming visit, Marsudi said, she will discuss any support the Indonesian government could deliver to assist Myanmar in easing the tension in Rakhine state.

"Although we acknowledge Myanmars authority in resolving the crisis, we believe there would be areas where the Indonesian government along with other international communities could help to solve the problem," she stated.

To halt the humanitarian crisis, Marsudi explained, her top priority would be to help the victims by first examining problems at all levels.

"Before offering answers to stop the crisis, we should know how the problem initially emerged and its latter consequences. I also have maintained communication with our counterpart in Bangladesh, mainly in dealing with the refugees. Although we still discuss the details, so far, the Bangladeshi government has lauded our efforts," the minister reiterated.

As the first foreign minister allowed to enter Myanmar after the crisis, Marsudi hoped the meeting with the authorities in that country would go in accordance with the plan.

"Indonesia would be the first country allowed to conduct a meeting with the Myanmar authorities since the clash," she noted while adding, she had received phone calls from several countries, including Netherlands, ahead of her visit to Myanmar.

"The Netherlands foreign minister (Bert Koenders) contacted me, while expressing his support to the Indonesian government to deescalate situation in Rakhine. European countries also commit to back any preventive measures proposed by our country ahead of the meeting with the Myanmar authorities," she remarked.

Indonesia, as well as the international community, according to the minister, deeply deplored a new cycle of violence occurring in Myanmar last month.

"We truly regret the new crisis occurring in Myanmar late in August. Therefore, we would continue this humanitarian partnership with the Myanmar authorities, while seeking other available options that could immediately be implemented in Rakhine. Kofi Annan, the head of Advisory Commission on Rakhine State has launched a report on the situation in the country. Following his recommendation, I believe it corresponds to our efforts in the country," she reiterated.

Marsudi explained, according to the report, any support to Myanmar should cover crucial sectors including education, health, as well as livelihood.

Following clashes since 2015 in Rakhine, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said last month over 18,000 Rohingya Muslims have been displaced on the border areas between Myanmar and Bangladesh, as well as other countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia. Meanwhile, after the attack on Aug 25, the number of refugees fled to Bangladesh has significantly increased by 5,200 people, according to the UNHCR.(*)