The sufferings of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims in the hands of State forces is perhaps one of two worst on-going humanitarian catastrophes, the unfortunate predicament suffered by Cameroon’s anglophone community as a result of the punitive expedition of the State, albeit largely ignored by the rest of the world, being the other.
State repression of Anglophones in Cameroon following legitimate demands at the end of 2016 escalated to a war in 2017 and for close to two years, millions have been displaced in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon with several hundred thousands living in bushes with the regime in place showing no signs of concern.
In a similar way, over 740000 Rohingya Muslims, persecuted on religious grounds by the Myanmar State, have been homeless for two years even as the repressive Myanmar regime pursues its campaign against them.
Human Rights Watch draws attention to their plight.
Time stands still for more than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims, who are still unable to return home two years after being driven out of northern Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh, fleeing widespread killings, rape, and the burning of their villages at the hands of the Myanmar military. The recently failed attempt to repatriate refugees underscores just how inadequate the conditions are for their return.
A United Nations-backed fact-finding mission has found sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior military officials for grave crimes, including genocide. Yet the Myanmar government continues to defy the UN Human Rights Council by denying these rights violations ever took place and refusing to investigate seriously and prosecute these crimes or cooperate with international efforts.
The refugees joined around 200,000 other Rohingya refugees already living in camps in Bangladesh who fled persecution and violence in Rakhine state as far back as 1993. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya illegal immigrants and has in effect denied them citizenship, despite most of them having lived in Myanmar for generations. Today, the Rohingya live in the largest refugee settlement in the world, where almost a million people await the chance to return home one day.
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