ASEAN Discusses Rohingya Aid, Repatriation at Plenary

The plight of Rohingya was touched in slightly but analysts say the discussion was far from adequate. Photo from ASEAN Summit Opening.

Manila, MINA – The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday discussed the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims in the plenary presided by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was quoted by GMA News as saying that the issue was brought up by at least two countries he did not name.

“Myanmar specifically said: Number one, that they are in the process of attending to the Kofi Annan report; that they welcome humanitarian assistance; and that the process of repatriation for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to conclude within three weeks after signing of a memorandum of agreement or understanding with Bangladesh,” he said at a briefing at the ASEAN international media center.

Roque said that Myanmar mentioned no further details.

“Myanmar agreed that they welcome humanitarian assistance. But there was no specific mention of which country will provide one. It was just a general statement that they welcome humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Roque, however, could not say if the discussion on the Rohingya people would be included in the ASEAN statement.

“I am not in the position to comment on whether or not there will be anything mentioned about Rohingya. I just mentioned that it was discussed in the plenary,” he said.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since the start of a year-long military crackdown that forced them to evacuate their villages in the western state of Rakhine.

Myanmar leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has come under fire for her silence about the crisis. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)