Gambia, a West African country from where thousands of migrants flee to Europe, has pledged to take Rohingya refugees at the centre of a migration crisis in South East Asia.
The Gambian foreign affairs minister Retno Marsudi made the pledge at the OIC meeting, which took place during the Asian-African Conference according to Jakarta Globe.
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) pledged that the government of Gambia is ready to host Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants that are stranded in Indonesia and Malaysia, according to India’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said that during the meeting at the Asian-African Conference, they discussed support and aid for the refugees, and Gambia confirmed that they are ready to host the refugees if they decided to settle there.
The EU estimates that last year 11,515 Gambians reached Europe, up from 3,545 the previous year.
On Gambia’s official website, the government has sent out a request to the international community to help refugees by providing necessary equipment, such as tents, mattresses, households materials and medicine to build temporary camps.
This statement shows that other Islamic countries are willing to contribute to helping the Rohingya people, and that they are concerned with solving this humanitarian issue, despite it happening far away from their shores.
The situation in South East Asia is particularly difficult at the moment, as nearly 2000 refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar were stranded in Aceh, Indonesia’s westernmost province, as the Thai government’s recent actions against human trafficking have made it too risky for the smugglers to land the refugees. Instead they are abandoned at sea.