Stop hurting Rohingyas, Myanmar told

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Source: The Star

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minis­ters of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will ask Myan-mar to stop its campaign of violence and hate against the persecuted Rohingya community during its emergency meeting here on Thurs­day.

The OIC’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the meeting, initiated by Malay­sia, will also request that Myan­mar allow unconditional access to all parties, including the OIC, to channel aid to the community.

“This meeting will help keep the Rohingya issue in focus at the international level as it is very serious when there are allegations of crimes against humanity, of ethnic cleansing.

“We want Myanmar to stop all the military operations, hate campaign and encouraging violence against the community,” he said.

Syed Hamid, a former foreign minister, said the OIC has responded well to the strong position Malaysia has taken on the issue based on humanitarian concerns.

“We don’t want another genocide such as the one that happened in Cambodia or Rwanda to take place, because the international community failed to do enough to prevent it,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will deliver a keynote address at the meeting.

Senior officials of OIC member countries will first meet to discuss a joint statement, followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers who will come up with a resolution at the end of the one-day meeting.

Syed Hamid, who was appointed as the OIC Special Envoy in 2014, said Myanmar has refused to allow OIC to step in and provide aid to the Rohingya and will only allow aid from individual countries.

He said Myanmar has also dispu­ted many reports of violence against the Rohingya as fabrication, or alleged that the action taken against the community was in response to an insurgency.

“However, the view generally is that the Rohingya community is being made to suffer collective pu­nishment and that there is no proof of this insurgency except for what Myanmar says.”

As such Syed Hamid said the international community, including the OIC, wants an independent international commission to be set up to find out what is happening on the ground.

Myanmar’s response to the de­mand, he explained, was to ask its vice-president to set up and chair an internal commission.

“They came up with a report, but it is not credible. This is why we want Myanmar to address this issue instead of denying there is a problem.”