Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday said there are no simple answers to the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine State, and that building trust and harmony between the Muslims and the Rakhines is not easy.

In an interview to ANI, the Nobel Peace Prize winner refused to give a specific time frame for reaching a solution. She said Myanmar has to “work at it all the time and immediately”.

“We have inherited this very complex problem and we have to deal with it,” Suu Kyi told ANI. The hostility between the Rohingyas and the Rakhines in the Rakhine State dates back to the 19th century and a solution is not possible overnight, she said.

Calling the Rohingya crisis a “humanitarian issue”, she said her government was doing its best to help “all those who are in distress within the borders of our country”.

“It’s a humanitarian issue which has risen out of long-term socio-economic problems and political of course,” she said. “It is not something that we can find simple answers to because building up trust and harmony between two communities, that have in many parts of the region, have been hostile to one another, is not done easily.”

Suu Kyi said her government has taken action against those security forces who were found to have broken the law in the persecution of the Rohingyas.

She also said Myanmar is ready to start the verification process to take back refugees “any time”. In her State of the Union address on Tuesday, Suu Kyi had said the government was ready to take back the Rohingya refugees subject to verification.

Suu Kyi said: “The most amicable solution would be to promote love and compassion throughout the communities. But it may be the most amicable, the most desirable, but it is not necessarily the easiest one to achieve.”

The Rohingya crisis

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled the country in recent weeks after violence broke out in Rakhine State, resulting in what the United Nations has referred to as an “ethnic cleansing”. Rohingyas have been denied citizenship in Myanmar, and are classified as illegal immigrants, despite them claiming roots going back centuries in the country. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de-facto leader has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 10 lakh stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.