24September2017

Home Editorial Myanmar's openness resolves the Rakhine conflict

Myanmar's openness resolves the Rakhine conflict

Today, September 1, 2017, some Muslims around the world are performing the peak of Hajj in Mecca. Simultaneously, Muslims worldwide also celebrate the day of Idul Adha. But the Rohingya Islamic community in Rakhine, Myanmar is under pressure and suffering. The raging conflict earlier this week has claimed many lives and resulted in thousands of Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh. As the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is also very concerned about the human tragedy in Myanmar. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi said that Indonesia regrets the casualties in Rakhine after the Aug. 25 attack. Therefore, the Indonesian government will try to find the best solution. As stated by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Indonesia pushes the Myanmar government to immediately restore the conditions to be normal by restoring the stability and security in Rakhine province. Both conflicting sides are asked to restrain themselves to possibly avoid violence. The official statement of the Indonesian government presented by Minister Retno Marsudi uses the expression of both conflicting sides in order to affirm Indonesia's impartial foreign policy. The hope was delivered to both the government of Myanmar and to Rohingya guerrillas known as Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army or ARSA. The government of Myanmar declared that the armed conflict this week was triggered by the ARSA attack. Clashes occurred when the military forces of Myanmar struck back. At least, 100 people were reported killed in the armed conflict. While thousands of others tried to cross into Bangladesh which borders with Myanmar and is the country of ethnic Rohingya origin.

Concern over the ethnic chaos in Rakhine is not just from Indonesia. The United Nations and Human Rights Watch organizations are also paying close attention. Bangladesh as a neighboring country directly bordering on increasingly overwhelmed the flood of Rohingya refugees. Similarly, Indonesia also receives some refugees from Myanmar. For Indonesia, there is no other way but to try to participate in overcoming the ethnic conflict that causes this humanitarian crisis, especially with the increasing number of civil society who becomes victims on both sides. If so far, the government of Myanmar has been closed for the real human tragedy in Rakhine, the political figures of Myanmar must be open to solve this problem. They have to accept advice, input and assistance provided by neighboring countries, international organizations and the United Nations.

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