OIC to ask Myanmar for unconditional aid access to Rohingya

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation plans to ask Myanmar to allow the OIC and other groups unconditional access to provide aid to Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, a Malaysian newspaper has reported.

Foreign ministers of the OIC will make the request at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on January 19, the organisation’s special envoy to Myanmar, Mr Syed Hamid Albar, was reported as saying by The Star online.

Syed Hamid, a former Malaysian foreign minister, said Myanmar had refused to allow the OIC to provide aid to the Rohingya and would only permit it from individual countries.

The meeting, to be addressed by Malaysian Prime Minister Mr Najib Razak, will also ask Myanmar to stop “its campaign of violence and hate against the persecuted Rohingya community,” the report said.

“This meeting will help keep the Rohingya issue in focus at the international level as it is very serious when there are allegations of crimes against humanity, of ethnic cleansing,” said Syed Hamid.

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“We want Myanmar to stop all the military operations, hate campaign and encouraging violence against the community,” he said.

“We don’t want another genocide such as the one that happened in Cambodia or Rwanda to take place, because the international community failed to do enough to prevent it.”

Syed Hamid said the international community, including the OIC, had wanted an independent international commission to investigate the situation in Maungdaw Township, where a security operation was launched in early October after Muslim militants launched deadly attacks on Border Guard Police posts.

Myanmar’s response to the request was to appoint an internal commission chaired by its vice-president, he said.

“They came up with a report, but it was not credible. This is why we want Myanmar to address this issue instead of denying there is a problem,” Syed Hamid said.

In an interim report released on January 3, the Rakhine State Investigation Commission headed by Vice President U Myint Swe said there was no evidence of genocide or religious persecution against the “Bengali” population in the state.

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