Since a 1982 law removed their Burmese citizenship, the Rohingyas, a Muslim minority in Myanmar, constitute the largest stateless community in the world. In the past, they have already been forced into exile whenever the violence against them has broken out.
On August 25, when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) rebels attacked the border crossings, the Burmese army did not hesitate to retaliate by firing directly at the Rohingya population. At the latest count, 370,000 Rohingyas had chosen to go into exile to Bangladesh.
The international community, which had previously remained passive regarding the Rohingyas’ situation, is just beginning to take an interest in their fate and to denounce this ethnic cleansing.
Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi broke her silence in a statement denouncing the “tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation [created for] promoting the interest of the terrorists.” In a country where she still has to deal with the military power, which holds 25% of the seats in Parliament, her recent remarks defeat her image of former dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
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