Kofi Annan Heads Panel on Rohingya Issue

Myanmar’s government has set up an advisory panel headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to find “lasting solutions” to the conflict in Rakhine state where widespread abuses have been reported against the minority Rohingya Muslims.

Kofi Annan was the UN chief from 1997 to 2006. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations in 2001.

It is nine-member advisory commission. The council will comprise three international and six national experts.

Rohingya Muslims have lived in the northwestern state of Rakhine for generations but are denied citizenship because they are considered outsiders.

More than 100 people, mostly Rohingya, were killed in clashes with members of Myanmar’s Buddhist majority in 2012.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled in rickety boats to seek refuge in other Southeast Asian countries, and many have perished in the perilous journeys or fallen victim to human traffickers.

The commission will consider humanitarian and development issues, access to basic services, the assurance of basic rights, and the security of the people of Rakhine.

The commission will make recommendations on conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance, rights and reconciliation, institution building and promotion of development of Rakhine state.

The commission will submit its findings and recommendations within 12 months of its establishment.