Urgent Action Needed to Implement Rakhine Commission Recommendations

Today the Rakhine State Advisory Commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan published their final report on Rakhine state. We, BROUK welcome the recommendations made by the commission, but we are concerned whether the NLD-led government will actually implement them, and call on the international community to ensure that the recommendations are implemented as quickly as possible.

At the top of the government’s agenda should be the revising of the 1982 Citizenship Law in line with “international standards and treaties”, “to ensure full and unimpeded humanitarian access … to all communities in Rakhine State”, to “ensure freedom of movement for all people in Rakhine State, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or citizenship status” and “closing all IDP camps … and ensure that return/relocation is carried out in accordance with international standards”.

The Commission issued its interim report in March with 30 points of recommendations. However, there has been the very little implementation of those recommendations, and even those where the action was taken were not done in a proper manner, for example, proper support for those moved from camps. There is little political willingness to solve the Rohingya issue from the Burmese Military, NLD government and Rakhine State government. In fact, they are all currently escalating tensions and increasing the likelihood of further violence.

Rising tensions, instability, and any further violence is likely to be used as an excuse by authorities for not implementing recommendations.

It is time now for the international community to put collective pressure on the government in Burma to implement the recommendations submitted by the Kofi Annan Commission.

BROUK President Tun Khin said, “The international community has supported the Kofi Annan commission but unless they now pressure the government to implement the recommendations without delay, the whole process will have been a waste of time. We also need to see action on the serious human rights violations committed by the Burmese army, which was not covered by the Commission.”