In a reversal of past policy, Burma’s government last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United Nations to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees back to Burma. This unexpected move builds on the momentum established last month, when Burma hosted a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation and invited the U.N. to assist in the repatriation of the Rohingya and the rehabilitation of Rakhine state.
Burma's national dialogue, stalled for months, advanced this week with the opening of the second round of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in Naypyitaw, the capital. The five days of political talks focus on working out a federal system to resolve the country’s ethnic tensions.
“Rule of law reform” is an abstract concept for most people, understood to be important, but hard to explain. This is especially true in Burma, where government officials and citizens alike are trying to grasp a relatively rapid transition from decades of authoritarian rule to democratic governance.