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Najib Razak (C) poses for a photo with leaders and representatives of Muslim countries during the meeting of OIC foreign ministers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Jan. 19.
Najib Razak (C) poses for a photo with leaders and representatives of Muslim countries during the meeting of OIC foreign ministers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Jan. 19.

OIC to Send Team to Study Rohingya’s Plight

OIC to Send Team to Study Rohingya’s Plight

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation plans to send a high-level delegation to Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state to assess the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority, Malaysia said on Thursday.
A resolution issued after a special meeting of OIC foreign ministers to discuss the Rohingya crisis urged Myanmar to accept the OIC’s visit. It asked Myanmar to implement the rule of law, work toward a sustainable solution and allow the safe return of refugees and “unimpeded and unconditional access” for humanitarian aid to the affected area, News Observer reported.
Rohingya villagers and activists say hundreds of civilians have been killed since October, although figures cannot be verified because authorities have limited access for aid workers and journalists.
Recent satellite images show thousands of houses were burned.
Myanmar’s Army began a crackdown in Rakhine state in October after nine policemen were killed. The security forces are accused of killings, rape and the burning of homes that have driven some 65,000 refugees across the border into Bangladesh in the past three months.
Earlier Thursday, Malaysia said the crisis was no longer Myanmar’s internal affair because it has fueled an exodus of refugees that could destabilize the region. Indonesia also offered to be a facilitator to find a solution to the crisis.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, delivering a speech at the meeting, warned that the violence must end, or militants including the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group could infiltrate and radicalize the Rohingya.
Najib also said Malaysia will donate another 10 million ringgit ($2.25 million) for humanitarian aid and social projects in Rakhine, where most of the Rohingya have lived for generations. Many have been denied Myanmar citizenship.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on the sidelines of the meeting that Jakarta was “more than ready to play a bridging role” to help Myanmar and its Muslim minority.
Marsudi said she will fly to Yangon on Friday to meet with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and plans to travel to Rakhine on Saturday.

 

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