Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar: The Rohingya Crisis and Human Rights

  • Citation: Beyrer, Chris, and Adeeba Kamarulzaman. “Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar: The Rohingya Crisis and Human Rights.” The Lancet 390, no. 10102 (2017): 1570–73.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • ethnic cleansing
    • Myanmar
    • Rohingya
    • human rights
    • mass displacement
    • Bangladesh
    • religious persecution Rakhine State

A humanitarian crisis of enormous scale and scope is unfolding in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State and its border zone with Bangladesh. More than 420 000 Rohingya women, children, and men have fled widespread violence in Rakhine State in the past 3 weeks. Some 240 000 of them are children, according to UNICEF.

The Bangladesh–Myanmar border already shelters about 400 000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar from earlier waves of violence and mass displacement. The UN Secretary-General reports shortages of food, potable water, shelter, and access to medical care for these new arrivals. This acute crisis was initiated by armed attacks by a Rohingya group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, against more than 20 Myanmar police stations and an army base on Aug 25, 2017. The Myanmar Armed Forces, under the command of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, responded to these attacks with a widespread assault, ostensibly against the Rohingya armed group, which they deem a terrorist organisation, but now demonstrably also against the civilian population of the region. The Myanmar military has closed the region to humanitarian assistance, to a UN investigative group, to human rights groups, and to the media, making it difficult to assess conditions on the ground