FM Retno Visits Refugee Camp Near Bangladesh-Myanmar Border

Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Masudi (Left) visits Katupalong refugee camp.

Jakarta, 22 Rabiul Awwal 1438/22 Desember 2016 (MINA) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited the Kutupalong refugee camp near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to see for herself the condition of the Muslim refugees.

“The condition of the refugees has caused major concern. The international community must do more to help them,” the minister said, Antara reported, citing the press statement of the Foreign Ministry released on Wednesday.

The minister made the remarks in Ukhiya, Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, after visiting the refugee camp on Tuesday (December 20).

Retno is the first foreign minister to visit the refugee camp since tension in Myanmars Rakhine State began to escalate on October 9, 2016.

At the refugee camp, the minister listened to various stories from refugees about their experiences and their journey to the camp. She also visited the temporary shelters and places of worship of the refugees, whose number is expected to run into 19,000.

“Having learned from their stories and experiences, (we can conclude) how complicated are the problems in Rakhine State. Regardless of what has caused them to stay in the Kutupalong camp, they live there in misery. As fellow human beings, we have to try harder to help them,” she said.

She said the limited budget and human resources of the Bangladeshi government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have proved to be challenges in meeting the refugees’ needs.

She further stressed that the question of Rohingya Muslim refugees must be settled in the country of origin. Therefore, the steps taken by the Myanmar government to settle the problem in Rakhine State must be supported. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)