EU to focus on providing aid for victims and refugees of Myanmar crisis

id Myanmar crisis,conflict in Rakhine State

Indonesians hold demonstrations infront of Myanmar's Embassy in Jakarta (ANTARA FOTO/Puspa Perwitasari)

Jakarta (Antara) - The European Union (EU) will focus on providing humanitarian aid to the victims and refugees of the conflict in Rakhine State amid ongoing armed skirmishes in the region in Myanmar.
        
As a large provider of humanitarian aid based on international law, EU is affirming its commitment to assist not only the victims of conflict in Rakhine State but also more than 300,000 thousand refugees who have crossed Bangladesh's border in search of protection.
        
"I have no doubt that the humanitarian aid that EU is delivering is increasing by the day. We are channeling the best way possible to reach the victims on either sides of the border," the EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan stated at the launch of ASEAN-EU 40th Anniversary Concert in Jakarta on Tuesday.
        
The efforts to provide humanitarian aid will be started with the first step of finding the exact location where the refugees reside and providing them with what they need, including food and shelter.
        
Protection from any kind of human rights abuse must also be ensured in this first step, Fontan stated.
        
The step will be followed by the second step of stabilization, which will be followed by the next step of establishing livelihood and a normal life for all people, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.
        
"This is the humanitarian approach that EU is carrying out right now. At the same time, EU wishes to witness the stabilization of the situation and an end to the movement of people from one place to another," ambassador Fontan noted.
        
On Sept 11, the EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini made a statement regarding the latest developments in Rakhine State, Myanmar, and the border region in Bangladesh.
        
Following the dramatic developments in Rakhine State and at the border region in Bangladesh, the European Union has raised its concerns as recently as last Friday (Sept 8) in direct contact with Myanmar government members.
        
According to Mogherini, the priority is to obtain immediate humanitarian access again and to address in parallel the root causes of the conflict by implementing the Annan Advisory Commission recommendations to this end.
        
"On both accounts, we were reassured that there will be implementation of steps this week, which I expect to happen. We are in close contact with Bangladeshi authorities and are stepping up our humanitarian engagement there," he said, as quoted from a statement released by EU official website.
        
The EU also expects that the ASEAN member states will soon discuss with each other to contribute to a solution to the current developments in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
        
ASEAN foreign ministers will hold a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept 23.
        
According to Permanent Representative of Thailand to ASEAN Phasporn Sangasubana, the meeting will try to see how ASEAN can better cope with the situation without violating the non-interference principle between its members.
        
"We have had very good reports from Myanmar on this situation, and we keep each other on the hotline to discuss this issue. The only thing (is that) we cannot come out openly yet. Hence, we call on the people to wait for the result of the upcoming ministerial meeting," she noted. 

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Editor: Hisar Sitanggang
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