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Rohingya crisis explained: Why the minority Muslim group is fleeing Myanmar

Rohingya crisis explained: Why the minority Muslim group is fleeing Myanmar
From Global News - September 13, 2017

More than 370,000 MuslimRohingyas have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence inMyanmarsince late August.

READ MORE: UN accuses Myanmar forces of gang rapes, slaughter of babies in crackdown on Muslims

On Monday, the United Nationsdenounced Myanmars brutal security operation against Rohingyas in Rakhine state and called in a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

When did the recent violence start?

The crisis erupted on Aug. 25, when an insurgent Rohingya group attacked police outposts in Myanmars Rakhine state. That prompted Myanmars military to launch clearance operations against the rebels, setting off a wave of violence that has left hundreds dead and thousands of homes burnedmostly Rohingya in both cases.

The government blames Rohingya for the violence, but journalists who visited the region found evidence that raises doubts about its claims that Rohingya set fire to their own homes.

WATCH:Mass exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar spiralling into humanitarian disaster

Where is Myanmar?

The Republic of the Union of Myanmarformerly known as Burmais a small nation located in southeast Asia, on the border of Thailand, Laos, China and Bangladesh.

According to a 2014 census, the country has a population of more than 52 million people.

The country is officially a Buddhist state, and there are 135 distinct ethnic groups living there.


Who are theRohingya Muslims?

The Rohingya represent the largest percentage of Muslims in Myanmar, with an estimated 1.1 million living in Rakhine State, according to the UN. They are considered to be the worlds largest stateless ethnic group.

READ MORE: U.S. wary of involvement with Myanmar humanitarian conflict as Muslims flee region

The government of Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as citizens, meaning they face many barriers, including on their movement, access to the economy, education, health and other rights.

The persecution has forced nearly one million Rohingya to flee into Bangladesh since 1977, with many more seeking refuge in other countries, according to the U.N.

Where are the Rohingya people fleeing?

There is currently a mass exodus to the neigbouring country, Bangladesh, which has been overwhelmed with the influx of refugeesmany of whom arrived hungry and traumatized after walking for days through jungles or being packed into rickety wooden boats.

The few refugee camps in Bangladeshare bursting at the seams, according to the UN. As a result, refugees have startedsquatting in makeshift shelters that have mushroomed along the road and on available land in the area.

The vast majority are women, including mothers with newborn babies, families with children. They arrive in poor condition, exhausted, hungry and desperate for shelter,UNHCR said in a briefing note for reporters in Geneva.

Mass killings

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