Retno Marsudi, UN Envoy Hold Discussion on Rohingya Repatriation

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi held a meeting with UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner-Burgener to deliberate on the repatriation of Rohingyas.

    At a meeting held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York, the United States, Monday (September 23), both parties held discussions on the current situation in Rakhine State, Myanmar, as well as preparations for repatriating Rohingya residents from refugee camps at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

    "We agree that repatriation must be voluntary, safe, and dignified," Foreign Minister Marsudi stated during a media briefing delivered via video from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

    During her visit in New York, Christine will hold meetings with several parties in connection with the Rohingya issue, including those with Indonesia, that have helped resolve conflict in Rakhine without megaphone diplomacy.

    One of Indonesia’s concrete efforts in creating peace in Myanmar is the construction of a hospital in Rakhine.

    Minister Marsudi stated that construction of the hospital was almost complete and will be inaugurated on October.

    "Last night, I met with Myanmar's foreign minister and Vice President (Jusuf Kalla). We will inaugurate the hospital in early October. However, everything will depend on the security situation in Rakhine State," Foreign Minister Marsudi stated.

    In addition to the construction of hospitals, Indonesia offers continued assistance in the form of capacity-building programs for residents in Rakhine.

    Several programs, one of which is interfaith dialog, initiated by Indonesia, aim to boost mutual trust among citizens in Rakhine that is home to various ethnicities and religions.

    "This assistance is offered in the context of strengthening trust," Marsudi stated.
    The ASEAN Coordination Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Center) also helped repatriate Rohingya refugees, focusing on dissemination of information.

    "Concerns have been raised by several parties on radicalization (at Cox's Bazaar). Hence, it is important for us to work with the Bangladesh government to disseminate information. The ASEAN, through the AHA Center, also helps to disseminate information on the repatriation process," Minister Marsudi stated.

    The governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh are on the same page over repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar.

    However, most Rohingya residents are yet unwilling to be repatriated for various reasons, particularly concerning citizenship status and security.

    ANTARA