Indonesia encourages Myanmar government to restore security in Rakhine

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has encouraged the Myanmar government to immediately restore peace and security in Rakhine State following an attack on police and military posts in the state where the Rohingya Muslim minority community resides.

"We expect the government of Myanmar to protect all people living in Rakhine State, including the Islamic community, and open humanitarian access, so the crisis does not worsen," Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi stated at the launch of the Indonesian humanitarian assistance for Myanmar in Jakarta on Thursday.

The attack on the Myanmar police on Aug 25 by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army has triggered a counter-offensive raid that resulted in the killings of more than 100 people, including civilians.

The incident has forced thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh to avoid Myanmars worst humanitarian conflict in the last five years.

Indonesia, in this case, continues to help Rakhine State to develop through the reform and reconciliation process by promoting inclusive development and strengthening democratization.

The Indonesian foreign minister has, in particular, communicated with Myanmars National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A. H. Mahmood Ali to monitor inter-state cooperation in handling the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine.

The minister has also spoken to former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who recently submitted comprehensive recommendations on Rakhine State, at the request of Myanmars de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The report, made by the Advisory Commission led by Annan, recommends a combination of political, security, and development initiatives and elimination of discrimination against the Rohingyas to ensure that violence in Rakhine State does not escalate, among other things.

The report also calls to conduct a review of the citizenship law that currently does not recognize Rohingyas as citizens of Myanmar, thereby triggering unrest in the group of marginalized people who do not have any political influence.

During the report-making process, the Commission had held a discussion with President Joko Widodo in Bali in December 2016, taking into account that Indonesia has also contributed to ensuring the realization of peace in Rakhine State.

"After the report was received by the Myanmar government, Mr. Annan expects Indonesia to help Myanmar in implementing the recommendation points in the report," Minister Marsudi said.(*)