The uncertain future of Rohingya Muslims

Should the international community intervene?

The uncertain future of Rohingya Muslims

Without hope and full of fear, the Rohingya people are leaving what they used to call home. A dispute that started many years ago has reached a point where UN officials have said that the international community should intervene, and the main problem is that the government of Myanmar is not addressing the situation properly.

It all started when the Rohingya weren’t recognize as part of Myanmar society because they differ from the Buddhist dominant groups, not only because they represent a big part of the Muslim community but also because they have ethnical differences. While the Rohingya claim to be descendants of the society of Rakhine, formerly known as Arakan, the Myanmar government declared that they are immigrants coming from Bangladesh and therefore they do not deserve to be recognized as an ethnic group or have any civil rights.

Read also: The Indian government threatens to deport all Rohingya Muslims

In 2016 the Myanmar state reported attacks from the Rohingya to several security posts. The Myanmar society responded burning houses, and killing people, at that point the immigration started to increase.

The name Rohingya means “from Arakan”, which came to self-identify the society. The Arakan Salvation Army, or ARSA, was created to defend the civil rights of the Rohingya but the Myanmar government has declared ARSA as a terrorist organization. The leaders of ARSA responded that the attacks happened to protect their civilians.

The most affected country by the Rohingya immigration is Bangladesh. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, an estimated 15,000 people cross the border every day, and 700,000 to 800,000 people is the estimated population of refugees received in Bangladesh so far. Filippo Grandi told the media that it wasn’t a short-term emergency and that the solidarity shown by the people of Bangladesh is admirable specially because they lack of the resources to help the refugees. Also they have never closed the border to them. He witnessed first hand all the needs of the refugees and asked the international community for help, saying that in all his life he has rarely seen such need before.

Read also: Myanmar deploys more troops to Rohingya

The leader of Myanmar Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel prize of peace in 1991, denies the situations declaring that the media is exaggerating it. However the media has been restricted to enter the most affected areas so the truth about all the situation hasn’t been revealed. Aung Sang Suu Kyi has been openly criticized by the Nobel Prize community because her actions are nowadays recognized as an ethnic cleansing.

The situation with the Rohingya has closed Myanmar´s opportunities of economic growth because at the time that six European countries toured in June, they expected that the tour ended with investment in transportation, education and infrastructure. Nevertheless, it ended with each of every country recriminating the Rohingya situation and acknowledging that it was a high risk investment. Therefore,  their decision was to wait for the situation to end and reevaluate Myanmar as a commercial partner.


Latin American Post | María de Jesús Eunices Reveles Conejo

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda

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