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Jakarta Post

Indonesia wants end to Rohingya crisis, Jokowi tells Myint

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Singapore   /   Sat, April 28, 2018   /   11:45 am
Indonesia wants end to Rohingya crisis, Jokowi tells Myint Rohingya refugees walk down a hillside in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar in November 2017. Hundreds of desperate Rohingya people still cross the border to Bangladesh every week, six months into the refugee crisis. (AFP/Ed Jones)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reiterated Indonesia's commitment to assist the Myanmar government in solving the Rohingya crisis.

Shortly after arriving in Singapore to attend the 32nd ASEAN Summit, the President held a bilateral meeting with Myanmar's new president, Win Myint, on Friday afternoon, during which Jokowi expressed concern over the ongoing crisis.

Jokowi said Indonesia was ready to provide any necessary assistance for Myanmar to secure the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from their camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar back to Rakhine state.

"Indonesia only has one interest, namely to see a stable and peaceful Rakhine, where people, including the Muslims, can live in peace," Jokowi told Myint during the meeting.

Jokowi highlighted the fact that dozens of Rohingya refugees had arrived in Kuara Bireuen Beach in Aceh by boat last week.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled Myanmar following a military crackdown against the ethnic minority in Myanmar's Rakhine state, which the UN has dubbed an act of "ethnic cleansing".

The bilateral talk was the first meeting between Jokowi and Myint, who assumed Myanmar’s presidency last month after his predecessor, Htin Kyaw, stepped down. 

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi was absent from this week's ASEAN Summit. Suu Kyi has long faced global pressure due to the unsolved crisis.

Jokowi also encouraged his Myanmar counterpart to implement the recommendations issued by the Advisory Committee for Rakhine state, which is led by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, to solve the humanitarian crisis in the region.

The committee issued a report last year that proposed a series of measures to resolve the conflict, such as to allow humanitarian aid workers to enter the affected areas in northern Rakhine and set up an independent investigation into the allegations of crimes. (ahw)