Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine state in August 2017. The violence, which the UN described as ethnic cleansing and possible genocide, included the killing of thousands of people, the rape of women and children and the razing of villages. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled across the border to Bangladesh.
“They are too afraid to go home, but also they would face devastating living and health conditions if they were to stay. They really have no good options.” – said Andrea Gittleman, a program manager at the U.S. Holocaust Museum who co-wrote a report on the attacks against the Rohingya.
That line is likely really suitable to describe the fate of Rohingya’s ethnic now. The uncertain future they are facing now is clearly surfaced into reality since the Myanmar government continues to deny the mass killings, and is building what human rights groups describe as prisons for Rohingya who return. According to UN, in April 2019 UN and Bangladesh, which is having most Rohingya’s people now than other country, had signed a memorandum agreeing that repatriation must be “safe, voluntary and dignified.” Myanmar has yet to sign that memorandum, and discussions between their government and the U.N. remain ongoing.
Myanmar government’s effort have been always minimal. Myanmar has worked to systematically eliminate Muslim minorities from its soil for decades. The repratiation is not effective due to those Rohingya’s people who do return must prove that they lived in the areas, which is an impossible conditions, because since the crisis happened and Rakhine state were left by its citizens, Myanmar’s authorities have embarked on a major operation to clear their burned villages and build new infrastructure.
“And the main perpetrator against the Rohingya — which is the Burmese military — is still enjoying relative impunity and is still active in Rakhine State in the places where these crimes have happened.”
Since the start of 2018, almost 8,000 people have entered into Bangladesh. Bangladesh is now sheltering more than a million Myanmar refugees in camps, some 700,000 of whom have poured over the border in the past 18 months having fled a military-led crackdown in Rakhine state where thousands were killed, women were raped and villages razed. The long-running Rohingya crisis is now Bangladesh’s problem, but it will be the entire world’s problem tomorrow. All countries of the world should be concerned about what is happening in Myanmar.
Even the UN has criticized as systemic failure handling Rohingya’s crisis. Serious errors were found in agencies’ approach to Rohingya crisis in Rakhine. The polarisation of approaches between quiet diplomacy with the Myanmar government and public condemnation of escalating human rights abuses became more magnified as the situation in Rahkine worsened. The UN ignored fact that there appear to have been instances of deliberately de-dramatising events. The critisism escalated to a phrase: even at the highest level of the organisation there was no common strategy.
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