On October 9th 2016, the long saga of oppression endured by Myanmar’s Rohingya minority entered a new phase. For the first time in a generation, members of the group staged an armed attack, on this occasion against three Border Guard Police (BGP) posts in Rakhine State, killing nine officers and seizing weapons and ammunition.
According to rights groups, the assault was met with months of widespread and systematic violence perpetrated by Myanmar’s military and police in parts of northern Rakhine state, near the border with Bangladesh.
A “flash report” released by the UN’s Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on February 3 concluded that these operations likely involved crimes against humanity; the paper detailed acts of “devastating cruelty” including systematic rape, torture and killing and “likely” amounted to crimes against humanity.
The conflagration has sent around 75,000 Rohingya across the border to Bangladesh and displaced at least another 20,000 in northern Rakhine. Officials within two UN agencies estimate that more than a thousand may have been killed.
During the crisis, the Rohingya community also suffered from unnecessary assaults on their conditions of life. After the October 9th attacks, part of northern Rakhine State became a locked-off “military operations zone” in which “clearance operations” were being conducted by the Myanmar army. In this area humanitarian aid was all but suspended, endangering the lives of thousands of children with severe acute malnutrition and causing months of severe deprivation for aid-reliant communities. BROUK has been advised that it is likely that deaths occurred as a result.
Download full report in English HERE.