Ihsanoglu Demands Myanmar Government to End Campaigns of Buddhist Extremists against Muslims, Reaffirms OIC’s Commitment to Support Rohingya Minority

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The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, took the opportunity of the meeting of the Contact Group on the Muslim Rohingya Minority, which was held at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah on Saturday 30 March 2013, to sent two messages. In the first message, which was addressed to Muslims in Myanmar, the Secretary General emphasized that the OIC would champion their cause, stressing that the Organisation and its Member States will follow up the issue and stand ready to take all necessary measures to address it. In the second message, which was addressed to the Government of Myanmar, the Secretary General stated that the latter must put an end to the campaigns of hatred and ethnic cleansing that the Buddhist extremists are waging against Muslims in the country, stating that the OIC will take this issue to international fora to find a radical solution to it.

Ihsanoglu stated that the OIC convened a meeting of the Contact Group at its headquarters in Jeddah after the return of violence against Muslims in Myanmar at the hands of Buddhist extremists. These acts of violence have killed scores of Muslims, burned their homes, and left hundreds of them homeless, in addition to the burning of mosques and schools. The Secretary General warned against the spread of violence which started in the province of Arakan, in the West of the country, to other areas and cities, particularly the city of Meiktila in the region of Mandalay in the middle of the country, which has a large Muslim population.

Ihsanoglu called upon the States members of the OIC Contact Group to open channels with the international community to implement the recommendations of the Extraordinary Summit of Makkah which was held last August. He highlighted the Group’s ability to act and make a difference. Ihsanoglu expressed the OIC’s readiness to coordinate positions with a view to providing the necessary support to enhance the conditions of Muslims in Myanmar and to help them regain their legitimate rights and return to their land.

The Secretary General pointed out that the meeting must endeavour to maintain the confidence of the Rohingya people and that the international community must fulfil its binding promises. The Muslim minority, he added, needs hope through unity, cooperation and socio-economic development to make its life meaningful. He renewed his call for the need to encourage the international community to honour its humanitarian obligations and achieve peace and justice for the Rohingya Muslims so they may regain their righ