Suu Kyi picks Annan to lead commission
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi picked former UN chief Kofi Annan yesterday to lead a commission to stop human rights abuses in Rakhine State, where violence between Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims has cast a pall over democratic reforms.
More than 100 people were killed in violence in the northwestern state in 2012, and some 125,000 Rohingya Muslims, who are stateless, took refuge in camps where their movements are severely restricted.
Thousands have fled persecution and poverty in an exodus by boat to neighbouring South and Southeast Asian countries.
"The Myanmar government wants to find a sustainable solution on the complicated issues in Rakhine State, that's why it has formed an advisory commission," the government said in a statement.
The Rakhine commission would include nine independent members, including six Myanmar citizens and three foreigners, the government said.
The commission would meet for the first time on Sept 5 in Yangon.
The commission, which includes members of the Muslim and ethnic Rakhine, mostly Buddhist, communities, would focus on conflict prevention, aid, reconciliation, human rights and development, the government said. It will publish a report within a year of its formation.
Annan was Ban Ki-moon's predecessor as UN secretary-general from 1997-2006. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations in 2001.
Ban will visit Myanmar at the end of August. Suu Kyi will go to the United States in September, when she is expected to address the UN General Assembly.