Myanmar Spring Chronicle – February 20 Scenes
MoeMaKa, February 21 2023
The Rohingya refugee problem is still at an impasse. Situations where people are still fleeing in Sagaing
The Rohingya refugee problem has been in its 7th year since it started on August 25, 2017, resulting in the massive killing of tens of thousands of people and the burning of several villages due to the military’s so-called area clearance operation within a few weeks, and it has yet to show any signs of resolution. Nearly one million refugees fled to the border of neighboring Bangladesh, and the Bangladeshi government hardly placed those refugees of nearly one million people in Cox’s Bazar and they have been living with the help of international governments.
After the ARSA armed group started attacking dozens of Myanmar military council’s bases and border police outposts during the NLD government, the military brutally killed not only the ARSA armed members but also many Rohingya civilians. And so, the Myanmar military and relevant officials have been charged with genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In December 2019, the lawsuit filed by Gambia against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice was defended by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the NLD government, herself. The prosecution is still facing it, and the current military council has continued to face it.
While it has been reaching 7 years of solving the basic needs of refugees such as food, healthcare etc. through funds contributed by international governments, funding for Rohingya refugees has decreased since the Ukraine-Russia war in Europe.
Before the refugee problem could be solved, the occurrence of the military coup has caused the Rohingya refugee problem to move further away from a solution. In Rakhine state, fierce fighting took place between the AA armed group and the military in 2018–2019 for one time, and in 2022, there was a second time of fierce fighting and a verbal ceasefire. The frequent occurrence of armed conflicts like this is another reason why Rohingya refugees in Rakhine State are far from repatriation.
In the news these days, we see reports of a reduction in the food distributed to the Rohingya refugees, and it is said that this reduction is due to a reduction in international funding assistance. Refugees do not have the right to work, so they are completely dependent on aid, and the news of a reduction in food distribution can be seen as a consequence of the long-term problem. Myanmar’s military coup, armed resistance, fighting, armed conflicts across the country and the expansion of battlefields may obscure the Rohingya problem. It’s a situation where there is one problem after another, and there may even be differences of opinion on which problem should be solved in priority. In fact, it is also important to understand that the military’s control over politics, in other words, the military dictatorship, is the cause of the problem.
Another piece of news for today is that nearly 20,000 local residents are fleeing because of the raids on villages in Kanbalu Township, as reported in the news.
Every day in the news, news about the townships of Sagaing is in the headlines. Although there are reports that the NUG/PDF have controlled more than 50 percent of Myanmar, it is still difficult to protect them from the military council’s airstrikes. Hundreds of thousands of people in Sagaing have once again suffered the loss of food and valuables without being able to do agriculture while fleeing from the dangers of life. So, I want to reiterate that, as for the PDF forces, the protection of the public is also important in the current situation.