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  • There are thousands of refugees entering Bangladesh every day. They cross the

  • border of Myanmar where the state military has launched a violent

  • offensive against an ethnic minority groupthe Rohingya. The UN reported

  • that since August 2017 about 400,000 Rohingya men women and children have

  • fled their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine State. Reports claimed that the military

  • has been killing and raping the Rohingya and has set their villages on fire.

  • Satellite imagery showing burned villages confirms those reports.

  • Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators, the current

  • situation cannot yet be fully assessed but the situation remains or seems a

  • textbook example of ethnic cleansing. The term ethnic cleansing has

  • been reserved for some of the worst atrocities in history. The UN defines it

  • as a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by

  • violent and terror inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or

  • religious group from certain geographic areas.

  • What makes Myanmar a textbook example is that the military has been launching

  • attacks on the Rohingya – a Muslim minority in a majority Buddhist country.

  • Violent tactics have forced tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee their

  • homes. While many fled to Malaysia and Thailand most ended up in Bangladesh.

  • The recent wave of violence is the latest in a pattern of discrimination that started

  • over 50 years ago. In 1962, Myanmarthen called Burmawas taken over by the

  • military in a coup. They got rid of the country's constitution and created a

  • military junta. Like many dictatorships they promoted fierce nationalism based

  • on the country's Buddhist identity and when they needed a common enemy to help

  • unite the population the Rohingya were singled out as a threat. Tensions between

  • the Burmese Buddhist population and the Rohingya go back to the Second World War

  • when each group supported opposing sides. The Rohingya sided with the British

  • colonialists who ruled the country and the Buddhists mostly sided with the

  • Japanese invaders hoping they'd help end the British rule after the war. But even

  • in modern Myanmar the Rohingya minority continued to be an easy target.

  • Although their lineage can be traced back to 15th century Burma, the

  • government has been forcing them out claiming their illegal immigrants from

  • Bangladesh. It started in 1978 after a massive

  • crackdown called Operation Dragon King forced about 200,000 Rohingya to flee to

  • Bangladesh. The military reportedly used violence and rape to drive them out.

  • About a hundred and seventy thousand Rohingya reportedly returned to Burma. Then

  • in 1982, the government passed the Citizenship Act recognizing 135 ethnic

  • groups. The Rohingya, with a population of about 1 million, were not on the list

  • and became a stateless people. In 1991, Myanmar's military launched another

  • campaign literally called "Operation clean and beautiful nation." This time

  • about 250,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh. Tensions continued to build

  • against the Rohingya in the 2000s. Violence broke out in 2012

  • when four Muslim men were accused of raping and killing a buddhist woman in

  • Rakhine. Buddhist nationalist backed by security forces attacked Muslim

  • neighborhoods, burned homes displacing tens of thousands of Rohingya again.

  • Human Rights Watch deemed it an ethnic cleansing campaign. By this point the

  • Rohingya were persecuted disenfranchised and stateless. In 2016, a

  • Rohingya militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, emerged and

  • coordinated small-scale attacks on border police stations. An attack on

  • August 25th 2017 left 12 police officers dead and sparked the current crisis

  • against Rohingya civilians. A brutal retaliation by the state security forces

  • has led to about 400 deaths and the mass exodus of about 400,000 Rohingya to

  • Bangladesh. Since the August attack 210 villages have been burned to the ground.

  • The violent campaign has triggered the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in

  • recent years, but Myanmar's de facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner

  • Aung San Suu Ky has barely acknowledged the attacks.

  • More than 50% of the villages of Muslims are intact they are as they were before

  • the attacks took place. When she says that, you know, 50% of the Muslim villages

  • are still present in Rakhine State wel,l I mean, what are we talking about? 50% are

  • gone. 50% are burnt out. You know in any school

  • I went to 50% is a failing grade. Recent reports claimed that the military has

  • planted landmines along the Bangladesh border to prevent the Rohingya from

  • returning. Myanmar's government has systematically

  • driven the Rohingya out of the country. Over the last five decades it has

  • stripped their citizenship, terrorized them, and destroyed their homes, and now

  • it wants to keep them from ever coming back.

There are thousands of refugees entering Bangladesh every day. They cross the

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B1 US Vox rohingya myanmar ethnic bangladesh military

The "ethnic cleansing" of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, explained

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    osmend posted on 2017/10/01
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