Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 19 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 20 2023
The Rohingya refugee problem amid Myanmar’s political crisis
The problem of conflict between different religious and ethnic groups that started in June, 2012 has continued in 2013 and 2014 in Rakhine State and Bago Division. It still persisted in 2016 and 2017. In August 2017, when the military killed thousands of Rohingya people after an attack on police outposts, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled to neighboring countries.
This refugee problem is not only a problem between Myanmar and Bangladesh, but it has become a problem that has received international attention The incident of those who have become stateless risking their lives and seeking refuge on the sea journey makes everyone who hears about it heartbroken. Almost a million refugees have been living in refugee camps for years, and this kind of situation is comparable in the world to countries like Syria in the Middle East.
They tried to solve this problem during the NLD government, but they could not come up with a solution. The issue of the repatriation of refugees was still not resolved during the military coup in 2021, due to concerns about the civil rights of those who fled as refugees, and the fear of future conflicts, oppression, and killings.
After the coup, the military council is also facing a case filed in the ICJ regarding the Rohingya refugees, and the international community has tried several times for the repatriation of the refugees to Rakhine State.
According to reports, the Rakhine State Government, including the minister, traveled to Teknaf, Bangladesh these days, to meet with refugees and verify the list. Two UN officials told AFP that the UN refugee agency had helped Myanmar military officials travel to Bangladesh this week for talks on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, according to reports.
In a situation where the number of refugees is between 700,000 and 900,000, the number being verified to be recruited is only 1,000. Looking at these figures, it is clear that the military council wants to show that the refugees are repatriated during their time rather than try to find a solution to the refugee problem.
The main people responsible for the genocide that occurred in 2017 are the current leaders of the military council. They are also those who incite racial and religious prejudice, hostility, and support for nationalist extreme movements, as well as those who exploit these forces for political benefits. The cause of the violent conflicts between the communities that started to flare up in 2012 is hatred based on race and religion, and religious and ethnic extremist movements. Another reason is Myanmar’s current 1982 immigration law. In this case, it is necessary to understand and accept the problem of citizenship from a political point of view.
It is not easy to solve the refugee problem without solving these factors, and the situation where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have to live in crowded land in a neighboring country for years is not a situation that should happen from a humanitarian perspective or human rights perspective.
There is also the idea that the Rohingya refugee issue will be resolved only if Myanmar’s democracy issue is resolved, and that all issues that should be resolved must be resolved at the same time.