News analysis

Myanmar agreements on Rakhine state a small step for the long journey ahead

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar crossing the Naf River into Bangladesh, on Nov 10, 2017.
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BANGKOK - Myanmar's upcoming memorandum of understanding with two United Nations agencies to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees has raised hopes that international access would be widened in the ravaged western corner of the country.

News of the pending agreement on Thursday night (May 31) was matched by an announcement from Naypyidaw that it will set up a three-person independent commission of enquiry to probe the "violation of human rights and related issues following the terrorist attacks" by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), an armed group that claims to be fighting on behalf of Myanmar's beleaguered Rohingya minority.

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