More than half a million Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in the past year. For ages, the people have been oppressed and discriminated against by the Myanmar government, which does not officially recognise them as a minority.
The Rohingya are a group of people without their own state. Living in western Myanmar, they have been denied citizenship, even though they have been there for ages.
The United Nations estimates that there were originally over 1 million Rohingya. Most of them are Muslim, a minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. They are among the most persecuted people in the world.
Since 2016, army forces have been carrying out attacks against the Rohingya. There have been reports that whole villages in western Myanmar have been burned down as well as accusations of mass killings. Refugees arriving in Bangladesh also tell stories of women being raped by soldiers.
Myanmar’s government says it is responding to attacks by rebel Rohingya groups. Officials say that the Rohingya are not being persecuted and treated like other ethnic groups in the country.
The United Nations , Amnesty International and other human rights groups have called for a stop to what they call the ethnic cleansing of western Myanmar.
- accusation = to say that someone has committed a crime or has done something wrong
- citizenship = the right to belong to a certain country
- deny = here: not give
- discriminate against = to treat someone differently or in an unfair way
- estimate = here: to guess how many there really are
- ethnic cleansing = to make people leave a country because of their race , religion or culture
- ethnic group = group of people who belong to a certain race , or who have their own culture, tradition and language
- flee – fled = to leave a place very quickly in order to escape from a dangerous situation
- government = the people who rule a country
- minority = small group of people who live in a country
- oppress = to treat a group of people in an unfair way and not give them the rights that other people have
- persecute = to treat someone badly or unfairly over a period of time, because of their religion, or social status
- predominantly = mostly
- rape = to force someone to have sex
- recognise = to officially accept
- refugee = someone who has to leave their country because of a war or other dangerous situations
- respond = react