The Rohingya crisis has taken lives of over 1,000 of Rohingya Muslims who were either mercilessly butchered or raped and then killed.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 290,000 Rohingya Muslims have flooded the neighbouring Bangladesh; 80% of whom are women and children.
Here are 10 facts that you should know about Rohingyas and the crisis:
1. UK’s leading Islamic charity Muslim Global Relief defines Rohingya Muslims as “a stateless minority group in Myanmar Burma who have been subjected to systematic persecution and grave human rights abuses by authorities for decades.
“The ongoing conflict has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with over half a million families in desperate need of shelter, food and water.”
2. Over 300000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to live in internally displaced person’s camps in the wake of the Rohingya crisis.
“These Rohingya Muslims have no freedom of movement, access to food, water, sanitation, healthcare and education,” says Muslim Global Relief, while a UN Report has said that the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are face the final stages of genocide.
3. Rohingyas are not Burmese by in origin. They are actually illegal immigrants to Myanmar from Bangladesh.
4. Rohingyas don’t speak Burmese or follow the country’s tradition and culture. Instead, their dialect is related to the Chittagonian language spoken in the southernmost part of Bangladesh bordering Myanmar.
5. As per Wikipedia, there were around 1 million Rohingyas in Myanmar before the crisis.
6. The Myanmar government does not recognize Rohingyas as its citizens. They have been denied citizenship under the 1982 Burmese citizenship law.
7. There have been military crackdowns on the Rohingyas in 1978, 1991–1992, 2012, 2015 and 2016–2017.
8. It was after an alleged attack by Rohingya rebels on Myanmar security forces that killed at least 12 officers, a military crackdown was unleashed on the tribe late August resulting in wide-scale human rights violations like extrajudicial killings, gangrapes, arsons, and other brutalities.
9. De facto head of Myanmar’s government Daw Aung San Suu Kyi faced wide-scale criticism for her alleged inaction and silence against military abuses.
10. On Sept 10, 2017, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) declared a temporary unilateral ceasefire so that aid groups can extend their helping hands. “ARSA strongly encourages all concerned humanitarian actors resume their humanitarian assistance to all victims of the humanitarian crisis, irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the ceasefire period,” said ARSA in its official statement.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.