NEW YORK - Five years ago, Myanmar’s military began a sweeping campaign of massacres, rape, and arson against Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine State, reports Humanb Rights Watch.
Security forces killed thousands, raped women and girls and burned down nearly 400 villages. Those who escaped to neighboring Bangladesh live in sprawling, overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar and the isolated silt island of Bhasan Char.
The Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State face systematic abuses that amount to crimes against humanity. Since the generals who had orchestrated the atrocities against the Rohingya staged a coup in February last year, new movement restrictions and aid blockages on Rohingya camps and villages have been imposed.
The international response to the 2017 violence was fragmented and halting , with governments favoring quiet diplomacy. However, with the military having seized control of the country, no one has been held accountable for the crimes and acts of genocide committed against the Rohingya population.
This anniversary should prompt concerned governments to take concrete action to ensure justice and safety for the Rohingya across the region, and to sever the flow of arms and revenue underwriting the junta’s ongoing crimes.