According to official John McKissick at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Nov. 24, members of the Rohingya community have been subjected to numerous atrocities by troops in Burma, including execution, rape, starvation and forced displacement. McKissick said the widespread violence is part of an ongoing effort by the Burmese government to "ethnically cleanse" the Muslim minority group from the country. Speaking to the BBC from the UNHCR headquarters in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, McKissick said the latest increase in violence against the Rohingya is in response to the murder of nine border guards in Burma on Oct. 9, which some Burmese politicians have blamed on a Rohingya militant group.
More than 200,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from neighboring Burma in an attempt to escape the violence and alleged genocide. Many of those migrants are currently living in camps near the border, in towns such as Teknaf and Ukhiya. Some have expressed a desire to return to their homes in Burma, although Human Rights Watch reports that more than a thousand Rohingya homes have been razed there.
From Jurist, Nov. 25. Used with permission.