For decades, the Rohingya people have been victims of brutal attacks, however, a recent report published by the United Nations Human Rights High Office, has revealed that violence and discrimination against the ethnic minority group has reached an all-time high. Since October 2016, when the military enforced a crackdown in Rakhine, more than 87,000 Rohingya’s have been displaced and thousands more killed. For those who still remain in Rakhine, many find themselves in decrepit camps, eerily similar to the ones Hitler constructed in World War II.
The continuation of these atrocities is a result of lack of involvement from global actors. Neighbouring country Bangladesh has refused to help these vulnerable people by shutting their borders. Since the October attack, Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, informed his parliament that “we cannot just open our doors to people coming in waves.” While the UN releases regular reports on the atrocities occurring in Myanmar, and has shared its sorrow for what is occurring to the Rohingya people, they have done very little to resolve the matter. Despite having numerous chances to intervene peacefully and encourage the government to bring an end to this ethnic cleansing, the UN has ignorantly allowed the government to take matters into their own hands. However, if historical and current observations are of any meaning, it is evident that the Myanmar government has no intention of resolving the matter anytime soon.
Since the passing of the 1982 citizenship law in Myanmar, the Royhingya people are basically stateless. In order to gain citizenship they need to prove that they have lived in the country for at least sixty years, by providing paperwork, which is usually unavailable to them. By not being regarded as one of the nation’s 135 official ethnic groups, the Rohingya people face restrictions on their rights to study, work, travel, marry, access to health, practicing their faith and ultimately be treated as respected human beings. Despite the National League of Democracy being elected in April last year, little has been done to remove these discriminatory laws, as they still consider the Rohingya as illegitimate residents.
Even the State Counsellor and former Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Su Kyi has taken little initiative to save the Rohingya from persecution. Earlier this year, she requested that all armed ethnic groups sign a ceasefire with the government so this fighting would come to an end. Rather than acknowledging the rape, torture and murder of the ethnic minority, she implied that the Rohingya people were as much at fault as other Buddhist extremist groups and the government. If a notable figure such as Aung San Su Kyi can’t admit that Rohingya are being purposefully targeted, then what hope is there to end this violence?
Without the involvement of the UN, neighbouring countries and Aung San Su Kyi, the Myanmar government will continue to delay saving the Rohingya people, meaning that the chances of them being eradicated continue to increase.