08/18/2018, 09.44
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Rakhine, 'appreciable progress' to solve the Rohingya crisis

by Lawrence Jangma Gam

Government Advisory Commission on implementation of Kofi Annan's recommendations issues final report. The Independent Commission of Inquiry (ICoE) commissioned by Aung San Suu Kyi begins the investigation into the violence. Progress in relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh: the Foreign Minister of Dhaka visits the refugee and transit centers built for refugees.


Yangon (AsiaNews) - The efforts and progress of the Burmese government to resolve the crisis in the Western State of Rakhine are "appreciable but there is still much work to be done, especially in the repatriation and resettlement" of the Rohingya refugees. 

This is what emerges from the press conference two days ago that closed the work of the Rakhine Consultative Commission, a few hours after the delivery of its last report to the Councilor of State and Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Established in December last year under the guidance of Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, the body was appointed to assist the Government Committee for the implementation of the Rakhine recommendations presented by Kofi Annan in August 2017.

The Commission has achieved several successes. Surakiart cites the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that Naypyidaw signed last May with the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Added to this, in June the visit to Rakhine by Christine Schraner Burgener, UN special envoy in Myanmar. The establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry (ICoE), desired by the Lady despite the opposition of the Burmese Buddhist nationalists, was particularly satisfying.

The ICoE will investigate alleged human rights violations in northern Rakhine in the last two years and report to Burmese President U Win Myint within 12 months. Composed of two international experts and two local deputies, the commission began its mandate three days ago, two weeks after its foundation. 

Rosario Malano, a Philippine diplomat and president of the ICoE, announces "impartiality" and promises that the latter will "not point the finger at anyone" but "will try to cooperate with everyone for the peace and stability of the region".

Analysts also point to progress in relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh, where around 700,000 Muslims have fled from the latest wave of sectarian violence. In recent days, the Dhaka Minister for Foreign Affairs has led a delegation to the country, where he stayed three days. 

Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali was received in Naypyidaw on August 10th and his trip included a visit to the village of Maungdaw in Rakhine, the epicenter of the clashes in August 2017, and some reception and transit centers built for returning refugees. 

The Bangladeshi minister and his Burmese counterpart pledged to work together to resolve the emergency and have expressed their intention to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

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