Who are the Rohingya and where are they from?Rohingya are the world’smost persecuted people. 1.
1 million Rohingya live in Mayanmar. They livepredominately in Rakhine state, where they have co-existed uneasily alongsideBuddhists for decades. Rohingya people say they are descendants of Muslims, perhapsPersian and Arab traders, who came to Myanmar generations ago. The Rohingya arereviled by many in Myanmar as illegal immigrants and they suffer fromsystematic discrimination.
The Myanmar government treats them as statelesspeople, denying them citizenship. How are they persecuted?Violence broke out in northernRakhine state on 25 August, when militantsattacked government forces. In response, security forces supportedby Buddhist militia launched a “clearance operation” that has killed at least 1,000 people and forced morethan 300,000 to flee their homes. Refugees have spoken ofmassacres invillages, where they say soldiers raided and burned their homes.How many have fled?The Myanmar government claims about 400 people havebeen killed so far, though others say the number is much higher.
The UN estimated on 7September that1,000 had been killed. Bangladesh’s foreign minister, AH Mahmood Ali, said unofficialsources put the death toll atabout 3,000. More than 1600000 had fled to Bangladesh by 11 September.
Those who have made it to theborder have walked for days, hiding in jungles and crossing mountains andrivers. Many are sick and some have bullet wounds. What does Myanmar say?The government has claimed thatit is targeting militants responsible for attacks on the security forces, andthat the majority of those killed are terrorists. It also says that Rohingyaare burning their own villages – a claim questioned by journalists who reported seeingnew fires burningin villages that had been abandoned by Rohingya people.The government has also accusedinternational aid workers of helping “terrorists” besiege a village in Rakhinestate.
The claim was condemned as dangerously irresponsible by aid workers, whofear for their safety. What does Bangladesh say?Bangladesh’s PrimeMinister Sheikh Hasina said on 7th October 2017 that our government wouldcontinue to support nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslimswho have fled neighboring Myanmar to escape violence. Mother ofHumanity said the government waspursuing a plan to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya on an island withthe help of international aid agencies whom she praised for their support. Shemade the statement at Dhaka airport on her return from New York after attendingthe U.N. General Assembly session. Sheikh Hasina accused Myanmar of creatingtensions at the border, but said she has asked the country’s security forces todeal with the crisis very carefully. They pretended like they wanted a war, shesaid.
Sheikh Hasina said our government would continue to support them withfood and shelter. “If needed, we will eat a full meal once a day and sharethe rest with them,” she said.Bangladesh’s foreignminister labelled the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar “agenocide”. The country’s National Commission for Human Rights also said itwas considering “pressing for a trial against Myanmar, and against theMyanmar army at an international tribunal” on charges of genocide. What does the international community say?The UN’s top human rightsofficial saidon 11 September 2017 that the military’s response was “clearly disproportionate” to insurgent attacks and warnedthat Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingyaminority appears to be a “textbookexample” of ethnic cleansing. What is the ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army)? The ArakanRohingya Salvation Army(ARSA), also known by its former name Harakahal-Yaqin(Faith Movement ), is a Rohingyainsurgent groupactive in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar.
According to aDecember 2016 report by the InternationalCrisis Group, it is led by Ata Ullah, a Rohingya man who was bornin Karachi, Pakistan, and grew up in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Other members of itsleadership include a committee of Rohingya émigrés in Saudi Arabia.The Central Committee forCounter-Terrorism of Myanmar declared the ARSA a terrorist group on 26 August 2017in accordance with the country’s counter-terrorism law.