Arab News: Whitewashing the genocide in Myanmar

Although the genocide of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar has gathered greater media attention in recent months, there is no indication that the international community is prepared to act in any meaningful way, thus leaving hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees stranded in border camps between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

While top United Nations officials are now using the term “genocide” to describe the massive abuses experienced by the Rohingya at the hands of the Myanmar army, security forces and Buddhist militias, no plan of action has been put in place.
In less than six months, beginning August 2017, an estimated 655,000 Rohingya have fled or were pushed across the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Most of the “clearance operations” — a term used by the Myanmar military to describe the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya — took place in Rakhine state.


In a recent report, Medecins Sans Frontieres relayed the harrowing death toll of Rohingya during the first month of the genocidal campaign. At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed between August 25 and September 24 last year, according to MSF. This includes 730 children under the age of five.


Eric Schwartz, of Refugee International, described these events in an interview with American National Public Radio (NPR) as “one of the greatest crimes in recent memory — massive abuses, forced relocations of hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of weeks.”

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