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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

150 Rohingya individuals arrested for fleeing the country

Maynmar authorities arrested nearly 150 Rohingya citizen's suspected of attempting to flee, including 127 Rohingya men and 18 women

Myanmar’s ongoing Rohingya crisis has once again come into the spotlight as authorities recently arrested nearly 150 Rohingya individuals suspected of attempting to flee the country. The Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim minority group, have long faced persecution and discrimination within Myanmar, denied citizenship and basic rights. Their harrowing journeys in search of safety and stability have led them to risk their lives, making perilous trips from refugee camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar to reach Malaysia and Indonesia.

Historical Background

For decades, the Rohingya have been viewed as outsiders within Myanmar, regarded as interlopers from Bangladesh. This perception has resulted in their denial of citizenship and the imposition of strict travel restrictions. The situation escalated in 2017 when the Myanmar military launched a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya, driving hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. The scale of violence led to accusations of genocide against Myanmar at the United Nations’ top court.

Read More: Myanmar to dominate ASEAN summit as violence escalates

Recent Arrests and Detentions

The most recent incident involves the arrest of 127 Rohingya men and 18 women near the village of Waekhami in southern Mon state. These arrests come as part of Myanmar’s ongoing efforts to prevent Rohingya refugees from leaving the country, despite the perilous conditions they face within its borders. Aung Myat Kyaw Sein, spokesperson for Mon State Administration Council, confirmed the arrests and stated that the detainees are under investigation in accordance with immigration laws.

Perilous Journeys

The desperation to escape oppression has pushed Rohingya refugees to embark on treacherous journeys across land and sea. Thousands risk their lives each year to reach the relative safety of Muslim-majority countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. However, these journeys are often fraught with danger, as evidenced by a recent maritime tragedy where a boat carrying around 50 Rohingya individuals capsized off the Myanmar coast. While rescuers managed to recover 17 bodies, many remain missing, highlighting the life-threatening risks faced by those attempting these perilous voyages.

Repatriation Efforts

Bangladesh and Myanmar have engaged in discussions regarding the repatriation of Rohingya refugees. However, the conditions within Myanmar remain far from conducive for their safe return. The 2017 crackdown, along with the ongoing turmoil following the military coup in February 2021, has left the Rohingya in a precarious situation. International human rights advocates, including a senior US rights envoy, have expressed concerns about the safety of repatriating Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

Aftermath of the Coup

Myanmar’s internal turmoil has exacerbated the Rohingya crisis. The military coup in February 2021 resulted in the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government, ending a brief period of democratic governance. The power shift has plunged the country into chaos, further limiting the prospects for resolution of the Rohingya crisis and exacerbating the challenges faced by all its citizens.

Read More: Why international community must intervene to stop Myanmar crises

The plight of the Rohingya continues to be a deeply distressing humanitarian crisis that demands international attention. As Myanmar grapples with political instability and ongoing turmoil, the already marginalized Rohingya community remains vulnerable and oppressed. Urgent efforts are required from the global community to address the dire conditions faced by these refugees, ensuring their safety, well-being, and access to basic rights. The recent arrests serve as a reminder that the struggle of the Rohingya persists, and a sustainable solution remains an imperative goal for the international community.