Panel appointed in Myanmar to investigate Rohingya Human Rights Abuses

Myanmar has created a commission of inquiry and investigating the accusations of human rights abuses in the conflict-ridden Rakhine state. There have been increasing calls for Myanmar to be accountable due to innumerable allegations of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims.

The commission will have 4 members, two of whom will be local members from Myanmar. The other two will be international members. This includes Rosario Manalo, the former Filipino undersecretary of foreign affairs, and Kenzo Oshima, the former ambassador of Japan to the United Nations. Manalo will also be the chairman of the commission.

As for the local members, they are Mya Thein and Aung Tun Thet. Mya Thein is a lawyer while Aung Tun Thet is an economist and a former official of the UN. Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had appointed Thet in 2017 to play a major role in the response to the crisis in the Rakhine state.

The commission will be investigating the various allegations of violations of human rights and associated issues after the terrorist attacks carried out by ARSA. ARSA, short for Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, is a Rohingya armed outfit.

After the military crackdown which started in August 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya have escaped from the Rakhine state of Myanmar. The military action took place as a response to the attacks carried out by ARSA on Burmese security posts. Myanmar has rejected allegations that it indulged in ethnic cleansing. The government has also rejected most accounts of abuses and instead blames the Rohingya “terrorists” for the situation.

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