On 25 August 2017, 30 police outposts and stations and one military battalion headquarters in northern Rakhine State were attacked by an armed group identified as Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). In the following days, subsequent attacks took place against 26 additional police outposts and stations.
Myanmar’s Defence Services (Tatmadaw) and the Police Forces, jointly referred to in this report as ‘security forces’, carried out security operations (so called ‘clearance operations’) to restore peace and stability in the affected areas. There were armed incidents in approximately 60 locations when Myanmar’s Defence Services responded to the 25 August 2017 attacks by ARSA-fighters in more than 30 locations. These actions resulted in casualties, including ARSA-fighters, members of the security forces, and civilians. ARSA attacks and responses by security forces precipitated the mass displacement of people, mostly Muslims, from northern Rakhine State into Bangladesh.
Myanmar’s Government established this Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) to investigate the attacks that occurred on 25 August 2017 and thereafter, and the consequences of those attacks that led to the mass displacement of people, with a view to seeking accountability and formulating recommendations on steps to be taken to ensure sustainable peace and development in Rakhine State.