Innocent lives are at risk in Myanmar refugee crisis

Ahmed Ali, Opinion Editor

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In the secluded nation of Myanmar, also known as Burma, Rohingya Muslims have been targeted, persecuted, and forced away from their homes. The Rohingya people are just one minority group in this majority Buddhist nation, however they have faced unparalleled terror by Burma’s government forces, as soldiers work to push these people out of the country by burning villages and laying waste to what they please. The Rohingya refugees have no state of their own, nor are they granted the right to citizenship, nor are they readily accepted by the surrounding nations like Bangladesh to which they flee. Rohingya men, women, and children have been forced to risk their lives and leave what little belongings they have back home in order to find a way to make the treacherous journey in hopes they won’t be sent back.

Initial tensions arose between the Rohingya Muslims and the government of Myanmar due to the rise of militant Islamist groups in the area. In retaliation to attacks these terrorist groups have caused, the military has initiated a crackdown on all Myanmar Muslims, driving out innocent families because of the actions of a few extremists.

The United Nations has collectively condemned the actions of Burma’s government, with the UN human rights chief referring to the treatment of the Rohingya Muslims as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” However, Burma’s government has vehemently denied such claims, even making claims that the Rohingya were burning down their own homes and that there were numerous casualties on both sides, Rohingya and Buddhist. The Burma government have yet to allow the UN into the country to fully assess the situation and continues to censor any reports from within the country.

The Pope spoke to a number of refugees in Dhaka, Bangladesh, imploring them to forgive the world for turning a blind eye to these atrocities. But his statement does nothing to hold accountable the criminals who inflict such pain and terror. It does nothing bring these people out of their suffering.


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Innocent lives are at risk in Myanmar refugee crisis