Progress on ICOE recommendations for Rakhine reviewed in Sittway
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement held a meeting with the Rakhine State government and local representatives yesterday morning on the implementation of key recommendations made by the Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) for Rakhine issue. The meeting held at the regional guest house in Sittway Township was attended by Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye, Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, local cabinet members, departmental officials and local representatives. In his opening remark, the Union Minister explained the tasks of his office for implementing recommendations of ICOE in the areas of social cohesion; providing necessary assistance in collaboration with international donors to Rakhine, Muslim and other ethnic minorities who were displaced by the 2017 conflict; accelerating its implementation of the ‘National Strategy on Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Closure of IDP Camps, resulting in the successful reintegration of the IDP’s into society; re-examining the processes involved in the issuance of the National Verification Card (NVC) and its consequences through effective implementation and coordination of the ministries; ensuring equitable access to the delivery of education, health and all other essential services; removing various restrictions that interrupt the freedom of movement; and reviewing implementation and evaluation of each recommendation. He highlighted the importance of peace and stability to carry out these tasks, while the government is negotiating with Bangladesh, ASEAN member countries, international organizations and UN agencies for repatriation, resettlement and development of IDPs. He also advised to prioritize a resettlement plan for the internally displaced persons who did not flee to the other country at the seven villages in Maungtaw Township. Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu explained the works of his government and called for cooperation of local people in the resettlement programme for long-term development. Deputy Minister U Soe Aung reported the status on formation of a national-level committee for closure of IDPs and the cash-for-work programme for the locals at the seven villages. The locals from these villages asked about the assistance for infrastructural development, school buildings, fishing gears and other needs for their livelihoods. The Union and regional government officials also held talks with representatives of the IDPs for systematic closure of four camps and resettlement programmes.