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Ethical cleansing: Rohingya

By Maemuna Sadaf,
Ethical cleansing of Rohingya people has been continued from last few years in Northern Rakhine state of Myanmar. Atrocities including severe beating, burning alive, water boarding, rape of young women and girls along with other sexual violence are common in Rakhine. The detained men and boys are beaten to death or tortured severely.
It has been observed that military and Government of Myanmar is directly involved in this ethical cleansing. In a report of Amnesty International (June 2018), it has been stated that top military commanders are directly involved in ethical cleansing complain. The report mentioned, the commanders of military including Min Aung Hlaing Commander in chief of Myanmar Armed forces actually travelled to Northern Rakhine state to oversee the parts of operation held against Rohingya. Senior military officials knew that crimes against humanity were being committed. Some or all of them may have been directly involved in planning, ordering or committing crimes.
Myanmar security forces arrested and arbitrary detained hundreds of Rohingya men and boys from the villages across northern Rakhine State. The detainees are often beaten severely or died during arrest.
According to Amnesty international report, “They (detainees) are then taken to Border Guard Police (bases) where they are held incommunicado for days or even weeks.”
Amnesty International’s report also provides details about Myanmar military’s commando structure and troops deployments to proceed the process of ethical cleansing, the security forces’ arrests, enforced disappearances and torture. It includes killings of people from different ethnic and religious community.
The detainees are tortured to extract information or just for terrorizing Rohingya. They are also forced to confess involvement with Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). The security forces response to ARSA attacks result in burning of houses along with residents or communal murders of masses.
On the other hand, those who fled to Bangladesh suffered from miseries. Initially they were not allowed to enter the country. After international pressure on Bangladesh Government, Rohingya refugees were allowed to enter the country. Most of the refugees were died during travel because of acute weather conditions and difficult ways to travel. Later on, small numbers of refugees were left alive to enter Bangladesh. Lives in Refugee camps are even worst. Rohingya girls and women are raped even by Government officials. After 25th August 2017, around 702,000 people, 80% of Rohingya population of northern Rakhine State fled to Bangladesh.
However, there is sufficient evidence to require an investigation. The comprehensive report “WE WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING” Military responsibility for crimes against humanity in Maynmar calls for situation is to be referred to International Criminal Court for investigation and prosecution. UN investigators said in report published on 27th August 2018, “Myanmar military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya with genocidal intent and commander in chief and five generals should be prosecuted.
Moreover, 11,432 Rohingya refugees have been reached Cox’s Bazar from January 2018 till to June 2018. As a result of this ethical cleansing and massive displacement, Rohingya Children are suffering more than others. They do not go to school and their parents are also lost. They face abuse and child labor. Same is the case with females who face rapes in Refugee camps. The Bangladesh and Chinese Construction crews have decided to transfer 100,000 Refugees to Bhasan Char. Bhasan Char is also not a suitable site for human habilitation.
Writing more, there is serious problem of recognition and lack of legal status. In Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees are registered as “Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals”, lately changed to “Displaced persons from Rakhine State”, which made them vulnerable in Bangladesh. On the other hand, they are not accepted as Myanmar Citizens in Myanmar. Future of Rohingya community is remained undecided. Myanmar government is to be held responsible for Rohingya Refugee Crisis.
Concluding more, the Rohingya Crisis is worsening with the passage of time. International institutions need to intervene and take practical steps in solution of the said problem.

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