The Rohingya Exodus

The Rohingya Exodus
Natali Al Jundy

The Rohingya Muslims are a minority group in the majority-Buddhist Rakhine State, in north-western Myanmar. There has been significant conflict between the two groups, as Rohingya Muslims have been refused citizenship due to the 1982 law stating that full citizenship is granted only to those able to trace their origins in the country to before 1823, or those who are members of specific ethnic groups.

The conflict arose in 2012, in which there were clashes between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. This sparked further violence over the years, including numerous killings ranging from men to women to children all through 2013 and 2014, . The most recent atrocities in Myanmar involved the systematic raping of Rohingya women and girls by Rakhine security forces.

As a consequence of growing perils, over 70,000 Rohingya are stateless, as recorded by the UN. Most of the refugees fled to Bangladesh, where they are presently stranded in overcrowded camps.

An issue regarding the atrocities in Myanmar is the lack of independent reporting of the matter due to the fact that no Burmese or foreign observers have been allowed into the region for journalistic work. Additionally, authorities have been criticized for failing to act swiftly, and though they have declared a state of emergency and put night-time curfews in place, violent incidents have continued on. In April 2013, Human Rights Watch declared that attempts made by state forces to intervene fueled unrest more often than not, and that the government has yet to propose any long-term solutions for the ever-present conflict.