The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on Thursday called upon the government of Myanmar to take decisive steps to restore calm to the affected areas and hold all the perpetrators of acts of violence accountable, according to reports.
“The government of Myanmar should ensure that the security forces act in accordance with the rule of law and that all perpetrators of acts of violence be held accountable,” the OIC said in a communiqué after an extraordinary meeting on the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.
The meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia under its Chairmanship, called on the government of Myanmar to ensure an inclusive and transparent policy towards ethnic and religious communities, by including the Rohingya Muslim minority as an integral part of this process.
The meeting decided to request Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen to explore joint initiatives with his counterparts in the UN and Asean that can support the government of Myanmar to develop and implement inter-faith and inter-communal dialogues in the country and in the wider Southeast Asian region.
It also decided to encourage the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) to continue examining the situation of the Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar as a priority issue on its agenda.
The foreign ministers also urged Myanmar to consider Rohingya Muslim minority as an ethnic minority, as called for by relevant UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions.
They expressed grave concern at the recent eruption of violence in northern Rakhine that resulted in the loss of innocent lives and displaced tens of thousands of Rohingya people.
The OIC foreign ministers urged Myanmar to abide by its obligations under international law, international humanitarian law and human rights covenants, and take all necessary measures to stop the violence and discrimination against the Rohingya Muslim minority and continued attempts to deny their culture and identity.
They urged Myanmar to eliminate the root causes affecting the Rohingya Muslim Minority. In this regard, the FMs renewed its call upon Myanmar to restore the citizenship of the Rohingya Muslims which was revoked in the Citizenship Act of 1982.
They also urged Myanmar to take effective measures to prevent the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State. The meeting also expressed appreciation to OIC Member States that have extended humanitarian assistance to the affected communities and urged the international community and OIC Member States to do so.
It called upon Myanmar to take all necessary measures to restore peace and inter-communal harmony through dialogue and a comprehensive national peace and reconciliation process involving all segments of society in Myanmar.
In this regard, the importance of moderation was underlined as a core value in countering extremism and terrorism in all their aspects.
The meeting invited OIC Member States to continue to share the substantial costs incurred by those countries that have provided temporary shelter and protection to Rohingya refugees, in accordance with the principles of burden-sharing and shared responsibility, and in the spirit of Islamic solidarity.
The OIC FMs decided to request the OIC Secretary General to coordinate with the government of Myanmar for a high-level delegation from the OIC Contact Group to visit Rakhine to meet local officials and the affected Rohingya Muslims.
The meeting further sought the cooperation of the government of Myanmar in receiving this visit. The OIC Groups in New York, Geneva and Brussels will regularly review the evolving situation and explore sustained engagement strategies with Myanmar, the United Nations, the European Union, and other international organizations.
The meeting expressed its deep appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Malaysia for its hospitality and excellent arrangements in hosting the meeting.