Give me context… The government of Myanmar is in the International Court of Justice (the UN’s highest court) over allegations of genocide against Rohingya Muslims living there. Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest.
- Myanmar is a majority Buddhist country.
- The military ruled the country for decades & has a lot of power.
- Rohingyas are denied citizenship. They’re “illegal immigrants”. The legal conditions faced by the Rohingya in Myanmar have been widely compared to apartheid by many international academics. Why? The origin of the rohinyá is very controversial as it is discussed both the moment of their arrival in Arakan (a state of Burma) and when their identity as a people was forged. This controversy has been used by Burmese authorities to justify this.
Rohingya’s response. Various armed insurrections by the Rohingya have taken place since the 1940s.
Consequences. In 2017, Myanmar’s military carried out attacks on the Rohingya, burning villages, raping women & children, & killing thousands of people. Most of the Rohingya population of Myanmar was driven out of the country, into neighboring Bangladesh.
The United Nations response. UN officials and Human Rights Watch have described Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing.
The long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community… could amount to crimes against humanity.
What is Myanmar leader saying?
The case against Myanmar is incomplete and incorrect. Myanmar is just tackling an extremist threat. I defend my country.
Careful Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. She campaigned for democracy and the end of military rule in Myanmar. Guess what? Now she’s backing the military and some have called for the Prize to be withdrawn.
What now? We’ll see what happens after the 3 days of hearings…