UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed Myanmar’s establishment of a 27-member commission to investigate the violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine, which has left at least a dozen civilians dead since the end of May.
The commission, set up by Myanmar President U Thein Sein, “is comprised of a representative cross-section of national figures in the country”, said a statement issued by Ban’s spokesman.
“It could make important contributions to restoring peace and harmony in the state and in creating a conducive environment for a more inclusive way forward to tackle the underlying causes of the violence, including the condition of the Muslim communities in Rakhine,” reported Xinhua citing the statement.
“This will be integral to any reconciliation process.”
“The United Nations stand ready to provide assistance in a constructive spirit to Myanmar’s reform and reconciliation efforts, and to help that country overcome its imminent challenges,” it added.
The deadly violence in the Rakhine state started with the killing of a Rakhine ethnic woman by three men in Kyauknimaw village in the end of May and murder of 10 Muslims by a mob in Taunggup town.
The unrest escalated June 8 as murder and arson attacks spread from Maugtaw town to affect Buthidaung town and Sittwe, forcing the government to impose curfew on six riot-hit areas – Maugtaw, Buthidaung, Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, Yanbye and Thandwe – and then a state of emergency was declared June 10.
Recent tensions between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine also left hundreds of homes destroyed and at least 64,000 people displaced, reports said.