Fifth anniversary of the genocide against the Rohingya (August 25)

The slow death of the Rohingya

Since the global public has its eyes mainly on Putin’s war against Ukraine, the catastrophic situation in the camps in Myanmar has completely slipped out of public focus. On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the genocide against the Rohingya (August 25), the Society for Threatened Peoples stated: “The international community and the United Nations have failed completely. Individual states are trying to at least mitigate the impending catastrophe. However, they are hardly able to reach the needy. Several projects had to be given up already,” stated Jasna Causevic, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.  

The situation of the Rohingya has hardly improved since the beginning of the “ethnic cleansing” five years ago. 130,000 deported and expelled Rohingya are still living in open camps in which the problematic living conditions are – intentionally – exacerbating the situation. “There is a lack of just about everything: shelters, food, sanitary facilities, and medical treatment. We are seeing an increase of diseases and death rates. It is impossible to guarantee that the camp inmates will be able to survive these conditions in the long run,” Causevic summarized. “There are still massive restrictions on their freedom of movement, there has been a massive increase in arrests during the last year, and the military regime is still denying their existence as an ethnic-religious population group.” The situation in Rakhine State (Arakan) is catastrophic. Also, the Rohingya do not have any say in the shadow government, the National Unity Government (NUG), whereas other ethnic minorities are represented there. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are unable to return to their homes.

“It has to be said that the international community is not quite innocent about the humanitarian catastrophe in Myanmar,” agreed Dr. Ambia Perveen, President of the European Rohingya Council (ERC). “Meanwhile, the crimes against humanity and against international law are simply ignored.” Inflation and the Covid-19 pandemic – both exacerbated by the military coup – have had significant impact on the economy and the social security nets. More than 3 million people in the country are dependent on humanitarian aid. The armed forces are deliberately blocking access to parts of the country by means of bureaucratic hurdles.

“The international community must not accept this tragedy! Also, the military junta must not receive any more weapons and ‘dual-use’-goods. Apart from stepping up humanitarian aid, Germany must support the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court – and file charges against those who are responsible, following the principle of universal jurisdiction,” Causevic demanded. Finally, it will be necessary to support Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Thailand – and to ensure that these countries will help to improve the situation of the Myanmar refugees.