The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

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The 2016–17 Rohingya persecution in Myanmar refers to the ongoing military crackdown by Myanmar Army and police on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State in the country's northwestern region. The crackdown was in response to attacks on Burmese border posts in October 2016 by Rohingya insurgents. The Burmese army have been accused of wide-scale human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, gang rapes, arson and infanticides, claims which the Burmese government dismisses as "exaggerations".

The Rohingya are one of Myanmar's many ethnic minorities and say they are descendants of Arab traders and other groups who have been in the region for generations.

But Myanmar's government denies them citizenship and sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh - a common attitude among many Burmese.

The predominantly Buddhist country has a long history of communal mistrust, which was allowed to simmer, and was at times exploited, under decades of military rule.

A UN spokeswoman in 2009 described the Rohingya as "probably the most friendless people in the world".

The UN human rights office recently said for a second time this year that abuses suffered by them could amount to crimes against humanity. It also said that it regretted that the government had failed to act on a number of recommendations it had provided, including lifting restrictions of movement on the Rohingya.

It has called for an investigation into the recent allegations of rights abuses, as well as for humanitarian access to be given.

 



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