Indonesian leader meets Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Indonesian leader meets Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

President Widodo says Indonesia will continue to support Rohingya Muslims fleeing state persecution in Myanmar

By Mahmut Atanur

JAKARTA (AA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, southwestern district of Bangladesh, as part of his official visit to Bangladesh on Sunday.

During his visit, Widodo said that his country will continue to support Rohingya Muslims fleeing state persecution in Myanmar.

Earlier in the day, Widodo met Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in capital Dhaka to discuss bilateral relations and Rohingya issue.

During his meeting with Hasina, the leader of the largest Muslim populated country said Jakarta would continue its support to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Indonesia's attitude towards the solution of the Rohingya crisis in the United Nations and the UN Commission on Human Rights will continue in the international arena in the same manner, Widodo asserted.

He stressed on peaceful and swift solution of the issue on the basis of bilateral ties between Bangladeshi and Myanmar government.

During his visit, both countries signed five agreements in different sectors, including fishing, trade, diplomacy and energy.

Another agreement was signed between Bangladeshi oil company PetroBanla and Indonesian oil and gas company Pertamina, envisaging import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Indonesia.

More than 650,000 refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar since Aug. 25, 2017 when Myanmar forces launched a bloody crackdown.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.

In a report published on Dec. 12, 2017, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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