Violence and discrimination against the Rohingya minority of Myanmar has a long history. 1978 was a pivotal year in this story of increasing marginalization, when a state campaign of expulsion caused more than 222,000 refugees to flee to Bangladesh. As a result, today’s refugee crisis has roots that go back years.
The most recent wave of massacres and refugee migrations began after August 25, 2017, after fighters from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked police posts in the Rakhine state, the centre of the Rohingya population in the country. The military response has been brutal: as of January 14, 2018, the Inter Sector Coordination Group, a Bangladeshi organization, has reported that 655,500 Rohingya women, children and men have arrived in Bangladesh as escapees from the massacres. The true death toll may never be known.
We have put together a syllabus on the crisis in order to educate ourselves on the dynamics of the violence and refugee crisis, so that we are better equipped to help. We cannot let these atrocities go unmentioned or decontextualized.
Backgrounds to the Crisis
Aamna Mohdin, “A brief history of the word ‘Rohingya’ at the heart of a humanitarian crisis”, Quartz, October 2, 2017.
Alal O Dulal Collective, “Timeline: Being Rohingya in Myanmar, from 1784 to Now”, The Wire, September 29, 2017.
“Rohingya people in Myanmar: what you need to know”, Deutsche Welle, September 9, 2017.
“Rohingya: how Channel 4 News has reported the crisis over the last five years”, Channel 4 News, September 8, 2017.
Hannah Beech, “What Happened to Myanmar’s Human-Rights Icon?”, The New Yorker, October 2, 2017.
Elizabeth, Dias, “Will the Rohingya Exodus Be Aung San Suu Kyi’s Fall From Grace?”, TIME, September 21, 2017.
Elliott Prasse-Freeman, “The Rohingya and the World”, Jacobin Magazine, December 28, 2017.
Ben Doherty, “‘There is no peace’: Traumatised Rohingya vow they won’t go back to Myanmar”, The Guardian, January 29, 2018.
Adam Taylor, “In a first, Burmese military admits that soldiers killed Rohingya found in mass grave”, The Washington Post, January 10, 2018.
Jason Motlagh, “Myanmar’s Imagined Jihadis: Why the Burmese military has used the rhetoric of the global war on terror as a pretext for its ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya Muslims”, The New Republic, November 21, 2017.
Zeba Siddiqui, Wa Lone, “Thousands of new Rohingya refugees flee violence, hunger in Myanmar for Bangladesh”, Reuters, October 16, 2017.
Lauren Said-Moorhouse, “Children among Rohingya refugees who die after boat capsizes”, CNN, September 29, 2017.
Tim Gaynor, “Disease threatens refugees in Bangladesh in unplanned sites”, UNHCR, September 26, 2017.
How to Help
Tiffany May, “Helping the Rohingya”, New York Times, September 29, 2017.
May Bulman, “How to help Rohingya Muslims fleeing ‘genocide’ in Burma”, Independent, September 9, 2017.