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Use of “Genocide” Term Inappropriate

Kofi Annan, Chairman of Rakhine advisory commission and former United Nations Secretary General said genocide term should not be used loosely at the press conference with the world media, held at Sule Shangri-La. Recently, Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak’s used the term “genocide” to describe the crisis in Rakhine State. At the press conference, Rakhine advisory commission explained about its visit which started on November 30 in Yangon (November 30 and December 1) and continued in Rakhine State (December 2 and December 4). The Advisory Commission met the State Counselor of Myanmar, the President of Myanmar and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in Nay Pyi Taw in December 5 and 6.

Kofi Anan said, commissioners interacted with Government representatives, civil society, community leaders, youth groups, residents of camps and local villagers. Commissioners mainly focus on the reconciliation among the communities of Rakhine, citizenship verification, economic and social development of Rakhine State. Commissioners also visited part of northern Rakhine affected by the recent violence as well as areas that remained peaceful.

He also mentioned that “all our meeting, we stressed that wherever security operations might be necessary, civilians must be protected at all times and urge the security services to act in full compliance with the rule of law. We also stressed that security operation must not impede humanitarian access to population”.

Since deadly attacks on border guard posts in early October, media access to the area has been completely restricted. Speaking of transparency, the commissioner said the press will be allowed to go there and do their works in near future.

The Rakhine advisory commission was set up in August and the Government mandated the Commission to submit recommendations for resolving conflict, promoting reconciliation, strengthen local institutions, advance development and improving the welfare of all people in Rakhine state. When the Commission releases its report in 2017, it will be up to the Government and the elected representatives to decide which recommendations to take forward, and how.