The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday (20/07) emphasized that any approach aimed at resolving the ongoing conflict in Rakhine State must be comprehensive and reflect a joint effort with the government of Myanmar.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said that because the situation in Myanmar is “fragile,” a comprehensive approach, in collaboration with Myanmar’s government, is essential to produce “effective support.”
Arrmanatha was responding to a recent Jakarta Globe inquiry regarding the situation in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State as a United Nations mission seeks to investigate allegations of rape, torture and indiscriminate killings of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar’s armed forces.
Since October, Rakhine State has been engulfed in an ongoing conflict after a series of attacks by an ethnic Rohingya insurgent group on Myanmbar border posts led to a military crackdown in the region. The Rohingya people, native to Rakhine, are Muslim, though the country is around 87 percent Buddhist.
Myanmar authorities have been accused of crimes against humanity during the recent military operations, which have been criticized by the United Nations and Amnesty International, as well as by the governments of the United States, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
Myanmar’s government has denied the accusations.
During a bilateral meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in April, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her government is committed to improving the situation in Rakhine.
In response to the UN mission’s attempt to investigate the situation, however, Myanmar declined to grant visas to three experts appointed by the UN for the mission, saying their presence will only “aggravate the situation,” according a report from Reuters.
“At the end of the day, what we are trying to do is to find a solution. We are not trying to point fingers or to shame and blame,” Arrmanatha said, reiterating that the best possible solution would include coordinating and partnering with the government of Myanmar.
Indonesia has been active in its support toward a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Rakhine, which includes construction of schools and medical facilities in the region.