Russia against intervention in Myanmar’s ‘internal’ affairs as Rohingya crisis deepens

A Russian foreign ministry statement indicates that Moscow considers Rohingya crisis as an internal issue and is against any outside intervention.

Published : 15 Sept 2017, 08:27 PM
Updated : 15 Sept 2017, 08:57 PM

Attempts at intervening in Myanmar’s “internal affairs” may have only one net effect - still deeper inter-religious discord, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

“It is essential to remember that the wish to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state may merely bring about further inter-religious discord," she said, according to Russian news agency Tass.

The statement came amid a global outcry against the latest atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslim minorities in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

About 400,000 Rohingyas had fled to Bangladesh where another 400,000 are living for decades. The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have condemned the Burmese authorities for the atrocities they have committed.

Rohingyas are considered one of the "most friendless" ethnic minorities in the world.

Photo: muhammad mostafigur rahman

Myanmar authorities refuse to recognise their citizenship although many generations of the Rohingya people have been residing in that country.

The spokeswoman said Moscow supports "efforts for promoting the inter-religious dialogue in Myanmar among the spiritual leaders of all confessions."

"In that connection we took note of the collective statement by the leading organizations representing Myanmar’s multi-ethnic Muslim community who condemned armed actions by radical elements in that region (Rakhine)," Zakharova said.

"We express support for the government and urge the coreligionists to avoid yielding to provocations by extremist forces."

Zakharova said Moscow welcomed the government of Myanmar in its efforts "to implement recommendations made by the commission under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan."

"In part, a special committee has been created for this purpose under the minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement, which incorporates officials of the law enforcement and economic agencies," Zakharova said.

Also, she pointed out that Myanmar authorities were "providing assistance to the internally displaced persons in returning to their homes."

"According to the available data about two thousand people have returned to their homes," Zakharova said. "We expect that similar measures will be taken in relation to other persons affected by the migration crisis."

Zakharova said Myanmar’s military transport aircraft were delivering foods, medicines and other relief aid to Rakhine.

"Mobile medical centers have been set up to provide assistance to the local population. Ruined infrastructure facilities are being repaired. A tour of the northern part of that area has been arranged for correspondents of local and foreign mass media," Zakharova said.

"We hope that journalists’ humanitarian access to the violence-stricken areas will become standard practice," she said, according to the report of Tass news agency.