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Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar: One of the Top Issues in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Conference in Jeddah

RB News
June 25, 2014

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia -- The 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 18-19, 2014, under the theme of “Exploring Areas of Islamic Cooperation”. The issues in Middle East, Asia, and Africa were addressed in the conference. The Palestine, Al-Quds al-Sharif physical developments in entire Middle East, Mali and Sahel, Myanmar, The Philippines, and Central African Republic topped the agenda of the far-sighted Conference.

The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud Al Faisal, spoke at great length on issues facing the Muslim world and Muslim minorities in some particular countries. The Chair of the 41st Session indicated that the OIC Conference is being held while events and developments that are sweeping across the Muslim world, some of which are still facing political and security issues, while others were able to move forward that hopefully will sustain security and stability and achieve their goals of economic development.

At the Conference the OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani addressed the main session and the OIC Ministerial Contact Group delegations led by the Foreign Ministers on issues facing the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar. The Secretary General expressed his grave concerns over current situation in Arakan, particularly those in IDP camps and numerous Rohingya villages, and various other issues. He emphatically asked the OIC member states and the international community to work in concert and further increase their efforts in engagement with Myanmar both multilaterally and unilaterally to find a solution to the issues faced by the Rohingya people.

OIC special envoy to Myanmar, Tan Sri Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar, the former Foreign Minister of Malaysia, spoke on intricacies of the issues facing the Rohingya people. He stressed that stepwise approach to diplomatic solution through understanding and dialogue is essential in finding a solution to the Rohingya issue. He underscored the importance of addressing the issues with development of a realistic roadmap with concrete ideas that will address the fundamental issues of citizenship and basic human rights. Several Foreign Ministers and Special Envoys, including those from Bangladesh, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Emirates, spoke on the issue.

Prof. Dr. Wakar Uddin, the Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union, spoke on the dire situation on the ground, particularly the deteriorating conditions in IDP camps, and the new developments at Nay Pyi Taw on Rohingya issues. Dr. Uddin stressed that the will power of the Government of Myanmar is pivotal in addressing the Rohingya issue. Dr. Uddin expressed serious concerns over the continuous regression of the issue of reinstatement of citizenship and major human right issues as new humanitarian crisis are being created in Arakan. “The citizenship and major human rights are central to all the issues faced by the Rohingya people. Now the constant creation of new crisis such as attacks on NGOs, and limited operations of NGOs, dealing with resumption of the arrests of Rohingya and return of NASAKA as BGP, and food and health crisis in IDP camps have to be taken care of before the central issues can be adequately addressed. We don’t know what will be next before all these new issues can be take care of – sliding down in this path of slippery slope got to be stopped” Dr. Uddin stated.

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