In late October, the Elders called on Myanmar’s government and military leaders to end all military operations in Rakhine State, and allow hundreds of thousands of displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh and other countries to return.
Following their board meeting in London, The Elders also expressed their deep concern and dismay at the wave of violence and destruction that has scarred Rakhine in recent months. Those who are responsible for these crimes must be held to account.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:
“The violence and displacement, persecution and killings in Rakhine State must stop. The hundreds of thousands of people who have fled their homes must be allowed to return and live dignified lives, and their peace and security must be assured by state security forces. Sustainable peace in Rakhine – and Myanmar – can only be achieved when there are tangible improvements to the lives of the Rakhine and Muslim communities in the state.”
The Elders welcomed the final report of the Rakhine Commission that their Chair Kofi Annan submitted in August 2017. They noted that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the government of Myanmar have accepted the report, and that it was supported by all UN member states who participated at an Arria-formula meeting of the Security Council on 13 October. They now urged its full implementation.
The Elders believe that the Commission’s report should form a roadmap to address the root causes of conflict in Rakhine State and enable all communities to live free from poverty, violence and discrimination.