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Conflict in Myanmar

Peaceful solution to the refugee crisis

The Federal Government is concerned about the conflict between Rohingya rebels and the Myanmar armed forces. The situation of refugees – predominantly members of the Muslim Rohingya minority – was dramatic, said Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert. He called on both parties to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Rohingya refugees disembarking from a boat on a beach The situation of Rohingya refugees is dramatic Photo: imago/Kyodo News

The Federal Government was monitoring developments in Myanmar with great concern, said Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert at the government press conference. Reports had been coming in from the region of widespread human rights violations, as well as of many who had been killed and injured. There were many refugees and displaced people, he said. The situation was very dramatic.

Rohingya minority fleeing

The United Nations estimates that 290,000 people have fled over the course of the last two weeks alone, Steffen Seibert said. Most of them belonged to the Muslim Rohingya minority. They have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. This alone showed very clearly how dramatic the situation had become.

Government of Myanmar must act

Seibert called on all parties to the conflict to seek a peaceful solution. "We call on the government of Myanmar to meet their responsibility towards all population groups in the country. In particular, that is what we expect of the Nobel peace prize laureate and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi."

The conflict between the Rohingya insurgents and armed forces in Rakhine State has been smouldering for many years and flared up again in late August. Hundreds have been killed since then in the fighting. Bangladesh has registered a total of well over 160,000 refugees.

Monday, 11 September 2017