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Rohingya crisis: Myanmar commission team due in Cox’s Bazar next month

  • Published at 08:31 pm September 27th, 2019
Rohingya camp
File photo of a Rohingya Camp Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Diplomats doubt commission’s credibility

A team from Myanmar’s Independent Commission of Enquiry is likely to arrive in Bangladesh next month, to interview, and collect evidence from the Rohingyas sheltered at different settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

An advance team from the commission, jointly led by Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, a Japanese national, and Professor Dr Aung Tun Thet, a Myanmar citizen, visited Bangladesh from August 17 to 20, to lay the groundwork for the visit from the commission’s evidence collection and verification team, and to seek the approval of the Government of Bangladesh in this regard.

The four-member commission, led by former deputy foreign minister of The Philippines Ambassador Rosario G Manalo, was established by the Myanmar government on July 18 last year. The commission is tasked with investigating allegations of human rights violations following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in the Rakhine State, with a view to ensuring accountability, peace, and stability in the region.  

Mya Theinn, another Myanmar national, is the fourth member of the commission.

“During the visit from the advance team, we agreed in principle to allow the commission’s team to come to Bangladesh, and carry out their work,” a senior diplomat told Dhaka Tribune.

“They can come whenever they want to,” he added.

 About the timing of the visit from the Myanmar team, another diplomat familiar with the matter said: “The team may come next month. Nothing can be sure until the end of the ongoing 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.”

Regarding the credibility of the commission, the diplomats said it is not that encouraging that the body has so far failed to gain the trust of most of the international community.

Many see the commission as an eyewash, and believe they will “dance to the tune of the Myanmar government,” they added.