Hundreds of Rohingya displaced by Myanmar army

Rohingya people, a persecuted Muslim population, fleeing their homes Rohingya people, a persecuted Muslim population, fleeing their homes © Reuters

14 November 2016
Myanmar soldiers tried to weed out about 400 Rohingya villagers following attacks on border security forces in Rakhine province.

Hundreds of Rohingya villagers were forced out of their homes on Sunday 23rd October, after the army poured into the region in response to attacks on border security forces that killed nine policemen in early October. The villagers were forced for a second night to hide out in rice paddies without any shelter. The army declared the area an "operation zone", blocked humanitarian assistance and barred foreign journalists and observers from the Maungdaw area.

The move marks an escalation in violence that has destabilised Myanmar’s most volatile and remote enclave of northern Rakhine State, which is close to the Bangladeshi border. Nearly 120,000 Rohingya already live in dire situations inside internally displaced people (IDP) camps after a wave of inter-religious violence, that left 100 dead, engulfed Rakhine State in 2012. Over 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar face discrimination, including controls on their movements, family sizes and access to jobs.

Accounts of severe abuse by Myanmar troops--including summary killings, sexual violence, torture, arbitrary arrests--have been widely reported on social media following the military raid in the Rakhine state. Last month dozens of Rohingya women told the Reuters news agency that government forces had committed acts of rape or sexual assault against them. The government has denied abuses by troops.

Rohingya Muslims are often said to be one of the world's most persecuted minorities. They are an ethnic Muslim group in the majority Buddhist country and make up around one million of the total 50 million population. Myanmar denies full citizenship to the Rohingya population in the country.

The violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has triggered an influx of refugees into neighboring countries--namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.


For more information, please read:

Read 8162 times