Facts: Rakhine Violence
Muslims from diverse backgrounds, such as the Kaman, are considered to have had presence in Arakan for several centuries.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the numbers of Muslims increased during the migration of settlers from Bengal in British India into Myanmar more generally.
Many Muslims of Northern Arakan speak a version of Bengali – akin to the Chittagong dialect – but mixed with the Myanmar language.
The ethnic term Rohingya came into prominence after World War II. The term Rohingya did not exist in official records during British colonial days.
Some communities prefer the term Arakanese Muslims, but others leaders preferred to promote the term Rohingya. By the 1990s, “Rohingya” was the preferred way most of the northern Rakhine Muslims referred to themselves.
In 1978 and again in 19911992, hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from Rakhine fled to Bangladesh in the wake of army security crackdowns. KOFI ANNAN COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS Socio-economic development
Invest in infrastructure including roads, jetties, electricity, drinking water and Internet access. Ensure adequate compensation for confiscated land. Citizenship
Accelerate the citizenship verification process using the 1982 Citizenship Law. Revisit the law latter, and align it with international standards. Freedom of Movement
Ensure freedom of movement for all people, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or citizenship status. End all restrictions, both formal and informal. Communal Participation and Representation
Urgent steps be taken to promote communal representation for all underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, stateless and displaced communities, especially Muslims. Ensure women are included in the political decisionmaking. Internally Displaced People (IDPs)
Act swiftly to close all IDP camps, and return them to their villages or relocate them, in accordance with international standards, and in a voluntary and safe manner. In the interim ensure dignified living conditions in the camps: improved shelter, water and sanitation, provide education and livelihood opportunities. Cultural Development
The government should list and protect historic, religious and cultural sites of all communities in Rakhine. Mrauk U in particular should be a candidate for UNESCO heritage site status. Internal-communal Cohesion
Inter-communal dialogue must be fostered – at township, state and Union levels. Create an environment conducive to dialogue including joint vocational training, cultural events, establish communal youth centres. Security of all communities
Pursue a calibrated approach: combining political, developmental, human rights and security approaches, that addresses the root cause of violence and reduces inter-communal tensions. Improve policing; simplify the security structure, with a single chain of command; and improve training; and more representative of the population, including women and minorities. Bilateral relations with Bangladesh
Bilateral relations and cooperation between Myanmar and Bangladesh should be further strengthened to secure the border and other shared challenges, like drug trafficking. Implementation of the Commission’s Recommendations
Appoint a Union-level minister or committee to ensure the effective implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, with the sole function of coordinating policy on Rakhine, with a secretariat and support personnel.