UN: Burma in ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya

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.

  1. Arrests in killing of Burma human rights lawyer

    Burmese authorities announced Feb. 1 that they have arrested four people in connection with the killing of prominent Muslim human rights lawyer U Ko Ni. The lawyer was shot in the head at Yangon International Airport on Jan. 29 while holding his grandchild. The president's office stated that the killing was done to "undermine the country's stability." Ko Ni was a leading force in Burma's transition to democracy. (Jurist)