Wednesday, 5 Zulqaidah 1439 / 18 July 2018

Wednesday, 5 Zulqaidah 1439 / 18 July 2018

Indonesia needs to shelter Rohingya refugees: Nurhayati

Rabu 13 September 2017 03:28 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

A Rohingya boy sought drinking water at a refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh.

A Rohingya boy sought drinking water at a refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh.

Foto: Amir Abdullah/EPA

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Indonesian government should shelter Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar as it did to Vietnamese war refugees in the 20th century, a lawmaker said.

"We once opened an island to receive Vietnamese refugees. I think, as the world's third largest democratic country, Indonesia should take a prompt step to reopen Galang island or another island to receive Rohingya refugees," Chief of the Inter-parliamentary Cooperation Board (BKSAP) at the House of Representatives (DPR) Nurhayati Ali Assegaf stated, after receiving representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Thomas Vargas, here on Tuesday.

She stated that some 300 thousand Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh and are in miserable condition due to lack of food supplies, clean water, and medicines.

BKSAP and UNHCR will visit Bangladesh to monitor the condition of the places where the Rohingya refugees are being sheltered, she noted.

She added that she supported the UN's statement urging the Myanmar government to grant citizenship and access to live to the Rohingya ethnic group as contained in the human rights agreement.

She remarked that she would encourage parliaments from various countries to help solve the humanitarian tragedy engulfing the Rohingyas through parliamentary diplomacy.

"We fear that if we cannot prevent the conflict, it will turn into a regional conflict," she warned.

Also read: Four helicopters to carry aid for Rohingyas in Bangladesh

Experts have revealed that the Rohingya conflict in Myanmar appears to be a multidimensional crisis, with major geopolitical players involved, including internal and external reasons behind the recent upsurge in violence in the country.

Clashes in Rakhine broke out again on Aug 2017 after a militant group, known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, was reported to have claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks on police and army posts in which more than a 100 people died.

Fighting between the military and insurgents drove thousands of Rohingyas to Myanmar's border with Bangladesh, as government troops opened fire on civilians.

In Oct 2016, a series of attacks on security posts along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border triggered another outbreak of ethnic violence in Rakhine.

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