Myanmar panel probing Rohingya crisis pledges independence

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Members of a commission established by Myanmar's government to investigate human rights violations in western Rakhine state, from which 700,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority fled brutal army operations, have pledged to be impartial.

The Independent Commission of Enquiry held its first formal meeting Thursday in the capital, Naypyitaw, a day after holding talks with the country's leader, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The commission's chairwoman, former Philippine diplomat Rosario Manolo, said at a news conference that the panel will be "independent, impartial and neutral."

The commission was established after rights groups called for the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged abuses by the army against the Rohingya, including murder, mass rape and the destruction of villages.