Indonesian FM soaks up Rohingya crisis in Cox’s Bazar
Diplomatic CorrespondentThe Daily Star/ANN
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi visits Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, located not far from the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, on Dec. 20. (Courtesy of Foreign Ministry/Indonesia)
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi spoke to registered and unregistered Rohingya refugees in the Bangladesh camps and listened to their tales of assualts by the Myanmarese security forces.
Visiting different Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Tuesday witnessed sufferings of the Rohingyas who are fleeing persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state to seek protection in Bangladesh.
Marsudi arrived in Bangladesh Monday night on a 24-hour visit after attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries with Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon.
Marsudi accompanied by her Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and other senior officials, flew to the camps where some 32,000 Rohingyas have long been staying.
She spent much of her time speaking to registered and unregistered Rohingya refugees in at the camps where the refugees described to the visitors the assaults by the Myanmarese security forces against them.
The ministers also met those who arrived here since the eruption of the ongoing violence on October 9. But their comments and conversation with the refugees could not be known as the media was not allowed inside the camps.
“The discussions with the community allowed the visitors to better understand the ground realities that have forced some 34,000 civilians to cross the border…in recent… months,” says a UNHCR-IOM joint press release.
Unofficial sources, however, said the figure is much higher as the Rohingyas are entering Bangladesh through the porous border.
Sarat Dash, chief of mission of International Migration Organisation, Bangladesh and Shinji Kubo, UNHCR Bangladesh country representative, accompanied the ministers.
The Indonesian minister also called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Gono Bhaban in the capital.
This article appeared on The Daily Star newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post