Why the World Can't Afford to Ignore the Rohingya Crisis

Opinion
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The National Interest

Why the World Can't Afford to Ignore the Rohingya Crisis

Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis continues to deteriorate since the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) orchestrated thirty attacks on local police stations in the Rakhine State. Nearly three hundred thousand Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh for fear of violence targeted at Muslims. Myanmar has declared ARSA a terrorist organization, while Aung San Suu Kyi blames the “terrorists” for the misinformation about the true nature of the Rohingya crisis. It seems that most observers have focused on the domestic controversies of the Rohingya crisis, but the implication of the crisis on the regional security deserves more attention.

Bangladesh is the most affected by the Rohingya refugees. Although the Rohingya are identified as “Bengalis” in Myanmar, they have not been perceived or received favorably by the Bangladesh government. In the past, humanitarian relief and refugee status was denied to the majority of the Rohingya refugees. This time, the Bangladesh government has decided to provide temporary shelter for the refugees, but it still insists that the long-term solution requires the resettlement of the refugees back in Myanmar. Allegedly, the Rohingya discussion between the two governments has been thorny and unfruitful, with both countries pointing fingers at each other for the lack of sincerity and the unwillingness to take responsibility. The Rohingya issue will continue to strain the relationship between them.

This article was originally published by The National Interest on September 13, 2017. Read the full article here.