Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
What to study?
For Prelims: Who are Rohingya? Where is Rakhine?
For Mains: About the alleged genocide, concerns and what’s the way ahead?
Context: Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi is defending Myanmar in ICJ against accusations of genocide.
What’s the issue?
According to a case brought by the country of Gambia at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, the Myanmar military in August 2017 carried out a systematic, targeted campaign of terror, rape and murder against its Muslim population.
UN investigators say as many as 10,000 Rohingya – a Muslim minority in this Buddhist-majority nation – were killed. Another 730,000 Rohingya fled the massacre for Bangladesh, joining 300,000 Rohingya who had previously fled oppression in Myanmar.
Who are the Rohingya?
- The Rohingya, who numbered around one million in Myanmar at the start of 2017, are one of the many ethnic minorities in the country.
- Rohingya Muslims represent the largest percentage of Muslims in Myanmar, with the majority living in Rakhine state.
- They have their own language and culture and say they are descendants of Arab traders and other groups who have been in the region for generations.
- But the government of Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, denies the Rohingya citizenship and even excluded them from the 2014 census, refusing to recognise them as a people. It sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
What does the Myanmar government say?
Despite mounting evidence and international pressure, Myanmar continues to deny it all. It says, it is just countering violent insurgent groups.
Sources: the Hindu.