Myanmar has established an independent commission of inquiry to look into human rights abuses in the Rakhine state.

The statement issued by the President’s Office on 30 July 2018 states the following: “The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has today established the Independent Commission of Enquiry as part of its national initiative to address reconciliation, peace, stability and development in Rakhine. The Independent Commission will investigate the allegations of human rights violation and related issues following the terror attacks by ARSA.”

Members of the new commission include two foreign and two Myanmar nationals: Philippine’s former deputy foreign minister Rosario Manalo will chair the commission, with the other members being Japan’s former UN representative Kenzo Oshima, the former chair of Myanmar’s constitutional tribunal U Mya Thein and Aung Tun Thet, a former presidential adviser to Thein Sein. The commission is also said to be aided by national and international legal and technical experts.

The commission is one of several formed in recent months to address the situation in Rakhine state, with a number expressing their frustration at the process. It remains to be seen whether this latest move will engender progress in investigations or is simply another political gesture.