The United Nations’ top human rights official on Monday slammed Burma for conducting a “cruel military operation” against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State, branding it “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Around 120,000 displaced people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, in camps in Arakan State are not receiving food supplies or healthcare after the United Nations and aid groups suspended operations following government accusations of supporting insurgents.
More than half of Rohingya Muslim girls who fled violence in western Burma ended up becoming child brides, according to a United Nations survey that also showed widespread domestic abuse.
Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who chairs a commission on resolving Arakan’s problems, voices concern as the army reports a rising death toll from recent violence in the state.
Burma’s government appears to be backing away from claims that attacks that took place in Arakan State earlier this month were carried out by a Islamist group with links to Pakistan.
By not seeing ethnic groups like the Rohingya or the Rakhine as unitary collective actors, we are better able to avoid the trap of attributing collective responsibility.