Who are the Rohingya and where are they from?
Rohingya are the world’s
most persecuted people. 1.1 million Rohingya live in Mayanmar. They live
predominately in Rakhine state, where they have co-existed uneasily alongside
Buddhists for decades. Rohingya people say they are descendants of Muslims, perhaps
Persian and Arab traders, who came to Myanmar generations ago. The Rohingya are
reviled by many in Myanmar as illegal immigrants and they suffer from
systematic discrimination. The Myanmar government treats them as stateless
people, denying them citizenship.
How are they persecuted?
Violence broke out in northern
Rakhine state on 25 August, when militants
attacked government forces. In response, security forces supported
by Buddhist militia launched a “clearance operation” that has killed at least 1,000 people and forced more
than 300,000 to flee their homes. Refugees have spoken of
villages, where they say soldiers raided and burned their homes.
How many have fled?
The Myanmar government claims about 400 people have
been killed so far, though others say the number is much higher. The UN estimated on 7
1,000 had been killed. Bangladesh’s foreign minister, AH Mahmood Ali, said unofficial
sources put the death toll at
about 3,000. More than 1600000 had fled to Bangladesh by 11 September. Those who have made it to the
border have walked for days, hiding in jungles and crossing mountains and
rivers. Many are sick and some have bullet wounds.
What does Myanmar say?
The government has claimed that
it is targeting militants responsible for attacks on the security forces, and
that the majority of those killed are terrorists. It also says that Rohingya
are burning their own villages – a claim questioned by journalists who reported seeing
new fires burning
in villages that had been abandoned by Rohingya people.
The government has also accused
international aid workers of helping “terrorists” besiege a village in Rakhine
state. The claim was condemned as dangerously irresponsible by aid workers, who
fear for their safety.
What does Bangladesh say?
Minister Sheikh Hasina said on 7th October 2017 that our government would
continue to support nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims
who have fled neighboring Myanmar to escape violence. Mother of
Humanity said the government was
pursuing a plan to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya on an island with
the help of international aid agencies whom she praised for their support. She
made the statement at Dhaka airport on her return from New York after attending
the U.N. General Assembly session. Sheikh Hasina accused Myanmar of creating
tensions at the border, but said she has asked the country’s security forces to
deal with the crisis very carefully. They pretended like they wanted a war, she
said. Sheikh Hasina said our government would continue to support them with
food and shelter. “If needed, we will eat a full meal once a day and share
the rest with them,” she said.
minister labelled the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar “a
genocide”. The country’s National Commission for Human Rights also said it
was considering “pressing for a trial against Myanmar, and against the
Myanmar army at an international tribunal” on charges of genocide.
What does the international community say?
The UN’s top human rights
on 11 September 2017 that the military’s response was “clearly disproportionate” to insurgent attacks and warned
that Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya
minority appears to be a “textbook
example” of ethnic cleansing.
What is the ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army)?
Rohingya Salvation Army(ARSA), also known by its former name Harakah
al-Yaqin(Faith Movement ), is a Rohingyainsurgent groupactive in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. According to a
December 2016 report by the International
Crisis Group, it is led by Ata Ullah, a Rohingya man who was born
in Karachi, Pakistan, and grew up in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Other members of its
leadership include a committee of Rohingya émigrés in Saudi Arabia.
The Central Committee for
Counter-Terrorism of Myanmar declared the ARSA a terrorist group on 26 August 2017
in accordance with the country’s counter-terrorism law.