Myanmar forms commission to probe into violent attacks in western state

By Feng Yingqiu

YANGON -- Myanmar government has formed an investigation commission to probe into the background of Oct. 9 violent attacks by armed men on three border posts in Maungtaw, the country's western Rakhine state.

The 13-member investigation commission, formed by the President's Office on Thursday, is led by First Vice President U Myint Swe.

The investigation commission is tasked to find out the truth for violent incidents and investigate if existing laws, rules and regulations were observed in taking measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.

The commission is to make recommendations and advice for the stability of the area and its report is to be directly submitted to the president by Jan. 31, 2017.

Three border posts -- Kyikanpyi in Maungtaw, Kotankauk in Rathedaung and Ngakhuya Office were attacked on Oct. 9 by hundreds of armed men with five soldiers and nine policemen being killed in the incident.

A total of 30 attackers including two women have also been killed and dozens of suspects successively captured in follow-up armed clashes between Myanmar government troops and the armed men in Maungtaw since the three border posts were violently attacked.

A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in Maungtaw since Oct.10.

The curfew was imposed for the second time in Maungtaw four years after June 2012 incident when unrest and violence in Rakhine state escalated then which was triggered by communal conflict.

In August this year, Myanmar government had also established an advisory commission in Rakhine state, chaired by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, to resolve the protracted Rakhine regional issue.

Committed to finding lasting solution to the complex and delicate issues in the Rakhine state, the Ministry of the State Counselor's Office signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kofi Annan Foundation for the establishment of the nine-member advisory commission which comprises of three international and six national persons of eminence.

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

After wide consultations, the Annan commission will also submit its findings and recommendations to the government of Myanmar and publish its report within 12 months of its establishment.

Anna has expressed deep concern over the recent violence in Maungtaw, which he warned as plunging into a renewed instability and creating new displacement.

In his November statement over the situation, Annan called on all communities to renounce violence, urging the security services to act in full compliance with the rule of law.

"Recent events have reinforced the urgency of tackling these challenges in order to find viable solution in the interest of all the people in the state," he added.

Meanwhile, Islamic extremists were exposed as being involved in the attacks, which were supported financially by foreign terrorist organizations, the government said.

Due to the conflicts, Maungtaw border trade zone has been temporarily closed causing loss to entrepreneurs doing border trade in the area.

[ Editor: zyq ]


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