Pressure mounts on Myanmar as UN Rohingya refugee toll rises to 1, 25,000

Rohingya muslim

Myanmar’s longstanding conflict with the Rohingya community reached new levels of seriousness with increasing pressure on Prime Minister SuuKyi’s government. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterreshave, became prominent voices against the ongoing violence.

                                                  A Rohingya mother and her son weep at a border checkpoint into Bangladesh.

To provide greater context, Myanmar’s Rohingya community is a minority Muslim community living in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar. It is broadly recognized as a community to have migrated to Myanmar from Bangladesh. However, with the rise of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) the innocents of the community are also facing persecution.

Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army has been accused of and to quite some extent been believed to have had attacked 60 Police posts in the state thereby, provoking a reaction from the state. The ensuing violence has extended to causing deaths, rapes and even kidnappings among the innocents of the Rohingya.

                                                                             Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The ensuing violence has seen the deaths of thousands of Rohingya. Ever since the attack by ARSA on the police posts, the United Nations has estimated that over 1, 25,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar.

In the face of rising international criticism, Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi alleges that there is an ‘iceberg of misunderstanding’ on the issue, alleging terrorists are propagating the fake news.

                                                                                  Rohingyas at their camp in New Delhi

On the order side of the border, 14,000 have registered as immigrants from Myanmar in India. An estimate of more than 40,000 Rohingyas have illegally immigrated as well, mounting fears that these could be targeted by Islamic extremist groups outside of India to mobilize militancy for the cause of Kashmir.

Many international extremist groups and their leaders have called for the Muslims in these regions to take up arms against injustice – wherever inflicted upon their ‘Rohingya brothers’.

Other neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia have beefed up security as well while leaders continue urging Myanmar to pursue dialogue and action to end the ongoing crisis in the state.

In Bangladesh, an estimation of 73,000 immigrants is being considered as illegal immigrants from the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Amid the unfolding crisis, India’s ministry of external affairs has already announced that it will be deporting the thousands of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

The decision is currently being reviewed by India’s Supreme Court following open opposition to the decision. The United Nations meanwhile urges India to take in the refugees. Citing their customary law on the matter that says refugees cannot be forcibly returned to a place where they face persecution or threats to their life or freedom, it urges India to accept the refugees. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced his trip to Myanmar, where it is speculated that these matters will take the backseat and economic interests shall be propelled.

Thus the fate of over 50,000 Rohingya’s in Indian territories hang in the balance as violence and blatant crimes against humanity continue to be inflicted on their community in Myanmar.

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