Why Are the Rohingya Muslims Leaving Myanmar?
More than 120,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar in the last two weeks after a rise in violence against the Muslim ethnic minority, according to the United Nations. Up to 15,000 Rohingya refugees are expected to cross the Naf river into Bangladesh each day this week, joining the tens of thousands already taking shelter in overcrowded camps and makeshift settlements, The Guardian reports.
On August 25, early in the morning, the soldiers of the so-called Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) carried out a coordinated attack on a number of border and police posts of the Burmese authorities. For the first time this group announced itself in October last year, carrying out similar attacks. After the October attacks, ARSA published a five-minute video message in which the leader of the group, Ata Ulla, said, that "it is no secret that there is no more persecuted ethnic minority in the world than the Rohinya". Myanmar Government claims that Ata Ulla was trained in the Taliban camps in Pakistan and has support among influential circles of Saudi Arabia.
It should be noted that there is no access to international observers or journalists in the conflict zone. All that we read in the media is based on interviews with Rohingya, who managed to cross the border into Bangladesh. News and pictures of the current state of the Rohingya Muslims have caused a great deal of scandal in the world. And although the situation in Myanmar really is tense, however, many of these pictures do not correspond to reality and are taken from conflicts and earthquakes in different parts of the world over the years, YVI News reports. Muslims in Russia have already responded to these events by organizing a demonstration near the Myanmar embassy in Moscow to support Rohingya. Russian and Egyptian presidents Vladimir Putin and Abdul Fattah Khalil al-Sisi expressed concerns over the events in Myanmar, calling on the authorities of Myanmar to take the situation under control.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also responded to the incidents, announcing that the death of hundreds of Rohingya in Myanmar over the past week was a genocideagainst Muslim communities in the region. Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov, in turn, compared the events in Myanmar with the Holocaust. In addition, international pressure is growing on Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de-facto leader and a Nobel peace laureate, to intervene decisively and curb the military operations. More than 300,000 people have signed an online petition asking the Nobel committee to rescind the prize awarded in 1991 for her democratic activism during the years the country was run by a military junta.
Myanmar (Burma): Former British colony on the Indo-Chinese peninsula. Most of its inhabitants are Buddhist-Bamar, but the country is very heterogeneous, 135 ethnic groups are officially recognized by the Government. Since independence in 1948, the country has become stuck in a series of internal conflicts, many of which continue to this day. It is considered that the "Burmese civil war" is the longest in modern world history.
In the recent years, the Government of Myanmar has been able to sign armistice agreements with 15 armed ethnic groups, about eight are still in open confrontation.
Rakhine is a state in Myanmat situated on the western coast. There are ethnicity and religious minority Rohingya. Its representatives are mainly adherents of Islam, while the majority of the population of the country professes Buddhism. And even in Rakhine, the region of compact residence Rohingya, Buddhists prevail.
Rohingya: The authorities of Myanmar consider Rohingya as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh (therefore they can not hope for citizenship), and after the massacre in 1942, when Muslims killed tens of thousands of Buddhists, they were almost invaders. The relationship between the Rohingya Muslims and Myanmar Buddhists is historically complicated. During the Second World War, the Rohingya people were fighting by the British troops, while the Buddhists of Myanmar were fighting by the Japanese army.
Ethnic skirmishes and pogroms periodically suppressed and followed by harsh cleansing and repression. So it was, for example, in 1978, 1991, 2012. After 2012, nearly half a million Rohingya refugees have accumulated in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is not able to provide them with long-term prospects and many of them tried to flee to Australia, hundreds died in the way. The UN considers the Rohingya the world's largest group of stateless people.
The chief commander of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Min Agung Klein, who heads the fight against the Rohingya, stated that the army is completing the unfinished work of the Second World War.
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