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Jakarta sends more humanitarian aid relief for Rohingya

Indonesian Muslims hold a rally outside of the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta against the ongoing crackdown in Maungdaw. (AFP)
JAKARTA: Two Hercules aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for the Rohingya community in Myanmar’s Rakhine state departed from Jakarta on Wednesday.
“The two planes carry tents, water tanks, blankets, family kits, five tons of instant food and nearly a ton of medicines,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, which is tasked by the government with handling aid shipments to the Rohingya community. The aid will be handed to Myanmar’s government in Yangon for distribution.
Nugroho said Indonesia previously sent eight sortie missions to help the relief effort in Bangladesh.
The eight sorties transported 74 tons of aid, comprising rice, instant food packages, power generators, water tanks, tents, family kits, clothing, sugar, biscuits and cooking oil.
Indonesia’s ambassador to Bangladesh, Rina Soemarno, on Monday said rice brought from Indonesia has been distributed among 120,000 refugees.
Volunteers from the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance for Myanmar (AKIM), comprising 11 civil society and charity groups, have arrived in Dhaka to “conduct the aid distribution to the refugees,” she added.
AKIM member Rumah Zakat said they continue to receive donations for Rohingya refugees. On Wednesday, AKIM received a cash donation of 350 million Indonesian rupiah ($26,363) from a congregation at Al-Haqqul Mubiin Mosque in Jakarta.
Mosque caretaker Muhammad Sukron said they raised the fund for Rohingya refugees in about two weeks.
Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told Arab News: “The developments in Myanmar, the plight of the Rohingya, have moved the conscience of nations and people throughout the world.”
The crisis constitutes a litmus test for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to present itself as part of the solution, said Natalegawa, who dealt with the issue during his 2009-2014 tenure, and visited Rakhine in 2013.
Muhyiddin Junaidi, head of the international relations department at the Indonesian Ulema Council, said the Indonesian people are concerned about the Rohingya because they are fellow Muslims and Asians.
Muslim population make up about 42 percent of the 634 million population in the 10 Southeast Asian nations.
“The Indonesian people sympathize with the Rohingya because we went through the same phase that Myanmar is going through now, transitioning from authoritarian military rule to democracy,” Junaidi told Arab News.