Myanmar is witnessing an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.
As the world’s attention is focused on the tragedy of Aleppo, a small pocket of western Myanmar is witnessing a genocide of its own in the making. In response to recent attacks against the police by Rohingya militants, the recently-elected government has moved in against the Muslim minority group, armed with everything from fire torches to helicopter gunships. As in most conflicts, the majority of victims—of rape, torture and murder—are women, children and the elderly.
The 1.3 million Rohingya live in Rakhine state and are falsely classified as illegal immigrants by both the Myanmar government and the militant Buddhists, who launch attacks against them. The group has been denied citizenship and even its name itself is recognized neither by the government nor its Nobel Peace Prize-winning international superstar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who herself spent 15 years under arrest during the military dictatorship.
As Suu Kyi turns a deaf ear to the plight of the Rohingya community, the 120,000 who are already displaced are now being followed by tens of thousands more, fleeing collective punishment and facing more “starvation, despair and disease.”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
Photo Credit: Farid_Ahmed