Sunday September 10, 2017
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Rohingya refugees stretch their hands to receive food distributed by local organisations in Kutupalong September 9, 2017. Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy chief Azril Mohd Amin said Malaysia needs to play a role in the creation of a safe zone in Myanmar. — Reuters picRohingya refugees stretch their hands to receive food distributed by local organisations in Kutupalong September 9, 2017. Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy chief Azril Mohd Amin said Malaysia needs to play a role in the creation of a safe zone in Myanmar. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Malaysia needs to play a role in the creation of an international safe zone in Myanmar and use a diplomatic channel to convince other countries to support the proposal.

Lawyer and Chief Executive of the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy, Azril Mohd Amin, said Malaysia’s effort in sending a humanitarian mission would be more meaningful if the safe zone could be created soon.

“This mechanism will guarantee a proper channelling of aid to ensure that it will reach its target and to provide a strategic platform for a long-term solution to the long-standing humanitarian crisis suffered by the Rohingya Muslims,” he said in a statement here today.

Azril said the Bangladesh government had, on Sept 8, taken a diplomatic initiative by proposing to Myanmar to create a ‘safe zone’ inside its Rakhine state under the surveillance of the United Nations (UN).

“This zone is to ensure security, peace, food and protection for the Rohingya people who are facing brutal persecution, and hence, stop them from flocking to Bangladesh,” he said.

He said the Bangladesh government had also asked the UN, German and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to take the initiative to create the safe zone as had been done in other conflict-stricken countries.

However, Azril said the creation of such a safe zone still required the approval from Myanmar.

“Since the country is too stubborn to comply with any international law on the protection of the lives of civilians, it is quite difficult if Bangladesh is left alone to ensure that the proposed creation of the safe zone is well implemented,” he added.

He also emphasised that Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should not keep silent and let the Rohingya Muslims to continue suffering as victims of Tatmadaw’s military atrocities and becoming refugees in other countries. — Bernama

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