1. What’s the context?
The Rohingya are an ethnic group who have experienced a long history of persecution and discrimination within Myanmar. Rohingya Muslims represent the largest percentage of Muslims in Myanmar, with the majority living in Rakhine state, situated on the western coast. The government of Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, does not recognize the Rohingya as citizens — they were even excluded from the 2014 census — and have referred to them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The latest exodus began on 25 August 2017 after Rohingya armed militants launched deadly attacks on police posts. The Myanmar military, also known as the Tatmadaw, responded with a ferocious security crackdown burning villages and killing civilians. Speaking shortly after the attacks, Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the then UN high commissioner of human rights, said the situation seemed a textbook example of ethnic cleansing. Since then, over 700,000 people have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.