January 9, 2013
Jakarta – The Rohingya Muslim minority group in western Myanmar needs long-term support to recover from recent sectarian violence, the Indonesian foreign minister said Wednesday after a visit to the area.
“We must quickly move beyond emergency response,” Marty Natalegawa said. “The people in the affected area are showing resilience, they are showing constant willingness to recover quickly, but they need crops to harvest and seeds to grow.” Natalegawa on Monday visited areas in Myanmar’s Rakhine state affected by last year’s communal violence between the minority Rohingyas and the majority Buddhist population.
Natalegawa said the situation remained “unfavourable” with widespread distrust between the communities.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous majority-Muslim nation, has pledged 1 million dollars in humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas.
Natalegawa said Indonesia was ready to help Myanmar and share its own experience with ethnic conflicts.
“The fact that the Myanmar authorities have been inviting us to see for ourselves shows a willingness to be involved and to benefit from other countries’ lessons learned,” he said.