Today, the world remembers the day of the #Rohingya#genocide that happened five years ago. Rohingyas, formerly under the #Arakan Kingdom, represent the most significant percentage of Muslims in #Myanmar, with the majority living in #Rakhine state. Since the independence of Myanmar in 1948, the Rohingya community were not recognised as an official ethnic group in Myanmar. The exodus began on 25 August 2017 when the military stripped the Rohingyas of citizenship, leading to violence, arson, and sexual abuse of women. Despite the situation being officially recognised as genocide and with an impending ICJ case, Aung San Suu Kyi rejected allegations of genocide when she appeared at the court in December 2019.
The situation is still dire today, with millions of Rohingyas fleeing the country. #Kutapalong camp in Cox Bazaar is the largest refugee camp that hosts over 800,000 refugees. The conditions of the camp are abysmal, with constant fires and flooding. India also hosts many Rohingya refugees; however, arbitrary detentions have recently occurred, with many families being detained, fearing possible deportation.
Five years after the beginning of the exodus, here are some anecdotes of what the Rohingya community is experiencing daily – uncertainty, inhumanity, and fear.
"We feel like we have no dignity." "We felt like caged animals in a foreign land." "Only Rohingya can understand the pain of 25 August".
On Thursday, thousands staged rallies in many camps, holding banners, shouting slogans, and demanding a safe return to their home state of Rakhine in western Myanmar. Many shouted slogans demanding repealing a 1982 law stripped them of their citizenship in Myanmar.
We at Rethinking Refugees urge our community members to continue raising awareness about the situation of Rohingyas to put more pressure on the international community and humanise the narratives around refugees.