Will Growing International Criticism Impact Situation in Myanmar?

Debra Eisenman on BBC World News

ASPI Managing Director Debra Eisenman joined Matthew Amroliwala of BBC World News to discuss the international community’s renewed calls to charge Myanmar’s military leaders with crimes against humanity for their violent persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The conversation focuses on just-released, detailed reporting of extrajudicial killing, torture, and rape in military campaigns in Rakhine State; the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; the status of investigations in Rakhine; and the way forward for the Rohingya.

While not discussed in detail, experts are split on whether engagement or targeted sanctions are the best path to help Myanmar find a positive way ahead.

In her recent report, Reconciling Expectations with Reality in a Transitioning Myanmar, Eisenman pushes for engagement, saying that, “by sticking with Myanmar to provide capacity and support to the civilian government as well as to local NGOs and media, ethnic political parties, and marginalized and persecuted groups (such as the Rohingya), the United States and other partners can help address [Myanmar’s] deep-seated challenges and continue to encourage and assist Myanmar in taking steps toward inclusive and just solutions.” Eisenman’s report provides a number of recommendations to Myanmar’s government, including giving uninterrupted access to Rakhine state to the multilateral and humanitarian organizations that exist to help the vulnerable; and to provide the 200,000 Rohingya in central Rakhine the rights of national verification cards, including freedom of movement; among other recommendations. (3 min., 39 sec.)


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