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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Rohingya conflict in Myanmar

    By Jasmine Lam

    Staff Writer


      Over half a million Rohingya Muslims have fled the streets of Myanmar and flooded into the land of Bangladesh, seeking refuge due to the violence that has ensued between the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Muslim militant group, and the Myanmar military.

      On Aug, 25, the militants attacked 30 military posts and prompted the Myanmar military to retaliate. According to the Myanmar Times, the Myanmar military declared ARSA a terrorist group and began to counterattack.

       Though the Myanmar military is fighting back against the militant group, many human rights activists have described the retaliation against the militants as a guise for “ethnic cleansing”.

      According to the Myanmar government, 421 people have died. Among those killed, 12 were security officers that were involved in border post attacks lead by Rohingya militants.

       As the Rohingya try to escape Myanmar’s violence, means of transportation to escape is mainly through boats, which is designed to fit at most six people.

      An anonymous Bangladeshi border guard told CNN that in one day, they had pulled eight bodies from the side of the Naf River, half of which were children.

      The guard blames this on the sizes of the boats and the amount of people that attempt to get on the boat, the Rohingya have tried to double the amount of people they can fit in their boats, causing the boats to capsize.

      Refugees that have made it across the river have experienced even more hardships. There are reports that mines are hidden along the border, some of which have already crippled the Rohingya.

      As reported by the Myanmar Times, the Myanmar government is working on having refugees come back to their villages and are aiding those affected by the violence.

      The people of Rohingya have been stateless for the last three decades and “the world’s most persecuted minority”, according to Al Jazeera.

      The Myanmar government has yet to allow the United Nations (UN) investigators from investigating areas that are affected by the violence.

      “Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators. The current situation cannot yet be fully assessed,” stated Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

      In Oct. 2016, ARSA’s leader, Ataullah Abu Amar Jununi, explained that the Rohingya have been subjected to violence by the Myanmar government for too long and justified their violence, stating if the violence is not stopped, they have the right to defend themselves.

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