Malaysiakini News

Rakhine violence probe panel could be named soon

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The Myanmar government could announce as early as next week the members of an independent commission who would investigate alleged human rights abuses in northern Rakhine state, the Myanmar Times newspaper reported.

Executive committee member of the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), U Maung Myint said the government may make an announcement about the commission in a few days.

“This is a good time. I think they might release a statement, but I have no details,” he said.

U Phay Than, a member of parliament from the Arakan National Party, on Wednesday said the three-member body, which would include a foreign expert, would likely be announced next week.

“I think it may come out in the next 10 days or a bit more,” he said.

On May 31, the government announced plans to establish an independent commission to investigate alleged human rights violations by the Myanmar military and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in northern Rakhine last year.

It said the commission would consist of three members and be assisted by local and international legal experts. The President’s Office envisioned a panel of two local and one foreign member.

The establishment of the commission was strongly opposed by the military and military-backed lawmakers, who argued that including a foreigner on the commission would be deemed as interference in the country’s domestic affairs.

A source close to the selection process, the government is having difficulty setting up the commission because some of those who were asked to join the commission declined.

The international community, including the UN accused the Myanmar military of large-scale human rights violations against the Muslim minority in northern Rakhine, forcing them to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The UN estimates that over 700,000 refugees from northern Rakhine are living in cramped camps in Bangladesh.

- Bernama

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