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Tue Sep 19, 2017, 06:00 AM Sep 2017

The 'ethnic cleansing' of the Rohingya

Source: Washington Post

The ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Rohingya

Scorched earth. Harrowing escapes. Half a million on the move.

By Max Bearak, Laris Karklis and Tim Meko
Sept. 18, 2017

Last week, the United Nations’ top human rights official called Burma’s ongoing military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority group in that country’s Rakhine state “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

This is what he meant: Using a pretext of rooting out Islamist insurgents, Burma’s military, together with Buddhist villagers, is terrorizing the Rohingya, emptying and razing their villages, and attempting to hound them out of the country.

Of a total of 1.1 million Rohingya that remained in Burma despite repeated waves of violence since the late 1970s, more than 400,000 have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in just the past month. New arrivals are building makeshift settlements near established camps where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from previous exoduses already live. Most are women, children and the elderly.

Conditions are dire. Food is scarce. Aid agencies are worn thin. The monsoon rain is torrential.

The human catastrophe has captured the world’s attention. But it has also caused a lot of confusion. Didn’t Burma just undergo a democratic transition? Isn’t it led by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi? Why are Buddhists perpetrating an ethnic cleansing against Muslims?


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/rohingya/
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