The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday said it had “grave concerns” about the violence in Rakhine state that has killed and displaced thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
In a final communique issued after a meeting regarding the plight of the Muslim minority Rohingya community, OIC foreign ministers urged Myanmar to take decisive steps to restore calm in affected areas and protect the vulnerable group.
“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,” it said.
It also said the government should abide by international and humanitarian law and covenants, and work to stop violence and discrimination against the Rohingya minority as attempts to deny the group its culture and identity continues.
While renewing its call for the restoration of citizenships to Rohingya that were revoked in 1982, the OIC pushed Myanmar to work to eliminate the “root causes affecting the Rohingya Muslim Minority” while csalling on the international community to support affected communities with humanitarian aid.
Since October, Malaysia has criticized Myanmar’s government and military over ongoing violence in Rakhine — which some officials have called an “ethnic cleansing” — canceling two football matches scheduled to take place in Myanmar in January and requesting an immediate appointment with Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.
Last December, the deputy director general of the Myanmar President’s Office responded by saying that the principles of the regional body, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — in which both countries are member states — prohibited members from interfering in each other’s internal affairs.