Indonesia Rejects Statelessness, Committed to Protect Rohingya

Jakarta, MINA – The Indonesian government is committed to protect Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, Main Expert of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), said that the Indonesian government is very proactive in dialogue with the Myanmar government regarding the situation in Rakhine.

“Refugee protection is very important and it is the state’s obligation to guarantee refugees,” said Dzuhayatin during a virtual discussion on handling Rohingya refugees in Jakarta on Friday. As quoted from Anadolu Agency.

Dzuhayatin conveyed that Indonesia’s commitment can be seen from Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 125 of 2016 concerning Handling of Refugees from Abroad issued by President Joko Widodo.

President Joko Widodo, said Dzuhayatin, emphasized that every human being must not be stateless.

“This Perpes is an Indonesian commitment that we are morally bound to be able to provide protection for Rohingya refugees,” she said.

Dzuhayatin also claimed that Indonesia is the only country given the green light by Myanmar to enter to provide assistance in Rakhine.

“Indonesia has access to resolve the Rohingya crisis,” said Dzuhayatin.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights or AICHR is designing a special agency in ASEAN that deals with refugee issues in order to cooperate with UNHCR.

“In the past, ASEAN could handle Indochina refugees, why can’t now? So this is just a matter of lack of political will and the complexity of ASEAN, ”said Yuyun Wahyuningrum, representative of AICHR Indonesia.

Yuyun said that the problem of refugees has been shifted to issues of human trafficking, illegal migration, boat people and so on.

“Finally, the trafficking in person was resolved, the problem for the refugees was not,” said Yuyun.

She also criticized the absence of a declaration regarding refugees at the level of the ASEAN leader.

“The one with the irregular migration declaration, the approach will be security,” she said.

Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world’s most persecuted group, have faced growing fear since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched acts of violence against the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The number of refugees in Bangladesh now exceeds 1.2 million.

Since August 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also burned while more than 114,000 others were tortured, said the OIDA report, titled Forced Migration of Rohingya: Untold Experiences.

As many as 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by the Myanmar army and police, and more than 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned, while 113,000 others were damaged. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)