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Home > Main Library > Internal Displacement/Forced Migration > Burma: Internal displacement/forced migration of individual ethnic groups > Internal displacement/forced migration of Rohingyas

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Internal displacement/forced migration of Rohingyas
See also Main Library > States and Regions of Burma/Myanmar > Arakan (Rakhine) State

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: The conundrum in western Myanmar
Date of publication: 14 August 2012
Description/subject: "Since Hillary Clinton’s historic visit to Myanmar, the nation’s reforms have drawn the world’s attention. The end of a half century of military rule leaves Myanmar with countless challenges. Recently, the violence in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State has become a controversial topic. Global bodies, human rights organizations, world leaders and US lawmakers have rushed to condemn what they see as the treatment of these stateless people. The reality of the history of the Rohingya is not as clear as many believe. A campaign of disinformation has led to denunciation of a policy in Myanmar that at best, is grossly exaggerated, and at worst, does not exist. Headlines have screamed the words “ethnic cleansing and “pogrom.” Myanmar history of secrecy and disregard of human rights under the previous military government has lent credibility to this campaign..."
Author/creator: Chan Myae Khine
Language: English
Source/publisher: News and Periodicals Enterprise, Ministry of Information, Union of Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2014

Title: MIMU - RAKHINE emergency page
Description/subject: Tools for humanitarian assistance..."For up-to-date relevant information including maps, contact list, initial assessment form and 3W data...3W maps/reports for 2012 can be found HERE. 268 organizations were contacted to provide inputs for this round of the 3W (Who is doing what, where) exercise. Amongst them, 87 agencies provided updates – (1) Embassy/Donor (3) Red Cross societies, (12) UN Agencies, (25) LNGOs and (46) INGOs. The 3W products reflect implementing agencies' projects in 329 townships, 4,089 village tract and 11,479 villages throughout the country...".....If this site does not have the latest situation reports, go to the Alternate URL - the OCHA myanmar page at http://reliefweb.int/country/mmr
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://reliefweb.int/country/mmr
Date of entry/update: 04 July 2012

Individual Documents

Title: Mission report of OHCHR rapid response mission to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh 13-24 September 2017
Date of publication: 11 October 2017
Description/subject: "...Credible information indicates that the Myanmar security forces purposely destroyed the property of the Rohingyas, scorched their dwellings and entire villages in northern Rakhine State, not only to drive the population out in droves but also to prevent the fleeing Rohingya victims from returning to their homes. The destruction by the Tatmadaw of houses, fields, food-stocks, crops, livestock and even trees, render the possibility of the Rohingya returning to normal lives and livelihoods in the future in northern Rakhine almost impossible. It also indicates an effort to effectively erase all signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognizable terrain. Information received also indicates that the Myanmar security forces targeted teachers, the cultural and religious leadership, and other people of influence in the Rohingya community in an effort to diminish Rohingya history, culture and knowledge..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Format/size: pdf (125K-reduced version; 772K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/MM/CXBMissionSummaryFindingsOctober2017.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 October 2017

Title: Myanmar: Scorched-earth campaign fuels ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Rakhine State
Date of publication: 14 September 2017
Description/subject: "More than 80 sites set ablaze in orchestrated campaign since 25 August... More than 370,000 Rohingya fled across border in less than three weeks... Testimonies show attacks were planned, deliberate and systematic... Amnesty International can reveal new evidence pointing to a mass-scale scorched-earth campaign across northern Rakhine State, where Myanmar security forces and vigilante mobs are burning down entire Rohingya villages and shooting people at random as they try to flee. The organization’s analysis of active fire-detection data, satellite imagery, photographs and videos from the ground, as well as interviews with dozens of eyewitnesses in Myanmar and across the border in Bangladesh, shows how an orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings has targeted Rohingya villages across northern Rakhine State for almost three weeks. “The evidence is irrefutable – the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar. Make no mistake: this is ethnic cleansing,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director..." Additional articles and images
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html
Satellite imagery and maps showing the extent of burnings inside Rakhine State are available for download at: https://app.box.com/s/y126upmuuityz1weygmqom0z7sdi7but

Still images illustrating fleeing Rohingya and the growing humanitarian crisis across the border in Bangladesh are available for download at: https://app.box.com/s/c8g2ox6oy1pkrlevs590pw9enjdpsl74

Public Document
Date of entry/update: 15 September 2017

Title: Limited health options for Myanmar’s Rohingya IDPs
Date of publication: 31 May 2013
Description/subject: "SITTWE, 31 May 2013 (IRIN) - Aid workers are calling for better health access for an estimated 140,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, most of them Rohingya Muslims. Although a number of NGOs and government mobile clinics are providing basic health services inside the roughly 80 camps and settlements, they are limited, and emergency health referrals remain a serious concern, they say. According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), conditions inside the camps, combined with the segregation of ethnic Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya and ongoing movement restrictions, are having a severe impact on health care. Movement restrictions were slapped on Rohingyas around Sittwe, the Rakhine State capital, after bouts of sectarian violence in June and October 2012. Another concern is the negative attitude of many ethnic Rakhine to assistance provided to Muslim IDPs. “With threats and intimidation both to health provider and patient, this becomes an irreconcilable dilemma,” Carol Jacobsen of the medical NGO Merlin told IRIN, adding that “hostile access”, limited transportation and poor security were obstacles to health care for the Muslim population..."
Language: English, Arabic
Source/publisher: IRIN
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://arabic.irinnews.org/Report/3737/
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013

Title: Humanitarian Situation in Kachin & Rakhine States (05 Nov 2012)
Date of publication: 05 November 2012
Description/subject: Text, maps and photos
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
Format/size: pdf (646K)
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2012

Title: “The Government Could Have Stopped This” - Sectarian Violence and Ensuing Abuses in Burma’s Arakan State
Date of publication: 01 August 2012
Description/subject: Summary: "In June 2012, deadly sectarian violence erupted in western Burma’s Arakan State between ethnic Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims (as well as non-Rohingya Muslims). The violence broke out after reports circulated that on May 28 an Arakan woman was raped and killed in the town of Ramri allegedly by three Muslim men. Details of the crime were circulated locally in an incendiary pamphlet, and on June 3, a large group of Arakan villagers in Toungop stopped a bus and brutally killed 10 Muslims on board. Human Rights Watch confirmed that local police and soldiers stood by and watched the killings without intervening. On June 8, thousands of Rohingya rioted in Maungdaw town after Friday prayers, destroying Arakan property and killing an unknown number of Arakan residents. Sectarian violence then quickly swept through the Arakan State capital, Sittwe, and surrounding areas. Mobs from both communities soon stormed unsuspecting villages and neighborhoods, killing residents and destroying homes, shops, and houses of worship. With little to no government security present to stop the violence, people armed themselves with swords, spears, sticks, iron rods, knives, and other basic weapons, taking the law into their own hands. Vast stretches of property from both communities were razed. The government claimed that 78 people were killed—an undoubtedly conservative figure—while more than 100,000 people were displaced from their homes. The hostilities were fanned by inflammatory anti-Muslim media accounts and local propaganda. During the period after the rape and killing was reported and before the violence broke out, tensions had risen dramatically in Arakan State. However, local residents from each community told Human Rights Watch that the Burmese authorities provided no protection and did not appear to have taken any special measures to preempt the violence. On June 10, fearing the unrest would spread beyond the borders of Arakan State, Burmese President Thein Sein announced a state of emergency, transferring civilian power to the Burmese army in affected areas of the state. At this point, a wave of concerted violence by various state security forces against Rohingya communities began. For example, Rohingya in Narzi quarter—the largest Muslim area in Sittwe, home to 10,000 Muslims—described “THE GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS” 2 how Arakan mobs burned down their homes on June 12 while the police and paramilitary Lon Thein forces opened fire on them with live ammunition. In northern Arakan State, the Nasaka border guard force, the army, police, and Lon Thein committed killings, mass arrests, and looting against Rohingya. In the aftermath, local Arakan leaders and members of the Arakan community in Sittwe have called for the forced displacement of the Muslim community from the city, while local Buddhist monks have initiated a campaign of exclusion, calling on the local Buddhist population to neither befriend nor do business with Muslims..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Format/size: pdf (630K-original; 575K-OBL version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/The_Government_Could_Have_Stopped_this-HRW-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2012

Title: Burma's Human Rights Blind Spot: A Compendium on Violence Against Rohingyas in June/July 2012
Date of publication: 25 July 2012
Description/subject: Compendium of 30 or so reports... Introduction: "By virtue of its geography (great river valleys, plains, plateaus and mountain chains) and history (migration and settlement along the rivers and in the uplands) Burma is a multicultural crossroads of Southeast and South Asia. Peoples, ways of life and religions from the Indian subcontinent, Himalayas, Indo-China and beyond, have intermingled in a land which became a nation under British colonization and has struggled with ethnic identities ever since. Although the vast majority of inhabitants are Buddhists, with the overwhelmingly Buddhist Burmans the largest ethnic group, nearly all other religions are represented in the population. Tolerance and cosmopolitanism were among Burma's strengths in times of peace. Unfortunately, military rule and the promulgation of ethnic-majority nationalism have been in effect since General Ne Win's takeover in 1962, and even in the post-British democracy of U Nu, establishment of Buddhism as a state religion appeared to sideline Burma's people of other faiths. Ne Win's dictatorship favored the assimilation of Buddhist groups like the Rakhines, Mons and Shans into a Burman nationalism, discouraging those peoples' knowledge of their own languages, civilized history and cultures. Targeting Christians and Muslims, Ne Win's armed forces often burned churches and mosques, torturing and killing pastors and imams. In western Burma's Arakan State (aka Rakhine State), military rule brought decreased rights for the Buddhist Rakhine people and absolute denial of citizenship for the Muslim Rohingya people. The mass exodus of Rohingyas fleeing repression to neighboring Bangladesh took place in 1978 and 1991, resulting in tens of thousands of refugees cordoned off in squalid camps in Bangladesh or permanently stranded overseas (Gulf States, Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Thailand.) As Rohingyas left the northern Arakan region, particularly Buthidaung and Maungdaw, out of fear of extreme repression, Burma's post-1988 junta settled Buddhist Rakhine and Burman villagers in the area -- a scenario guaranteed to make both groups resent each other. Rohingyas who remained were often preyed upon by border security forces and other military personnel, and were severely restricted in rights such as marriage and travel. Military rape and other violent victimization of Rohingyas was well-documented by respected international human rights organizations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 July 2012

Title: Burning Homes, Sinking Lives - A situation report on violence against stateless Rohingya in Myanmar and their refoulement from Bangladesh
Date of publication: 02 July 2012
Description/subject: "...this report documents the severity of the human rights abuses suffered by Rohingya within Myanmar – including mass violence, killings and attacks, the burning and destruction of property, arbitrary arrests, detention and disappearances, the deprivation of emergency healthcare and humanitarian aid. Such human rights abuses are being carried out with impunity by civilians and agents of the state alike. The organised and widespread nature of this state sponsored violence raises serious questions of crimes against humanity being committed by Myanmar. This report also documents the refoulement of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and related human rights violations, including the push-back of boats carrying Rohingya into dangerous waters and the failure to provide refuge, shelter and humanitarian aid to those fleeing persecution. Historically, the Rohingya have faced acute discrimination and human rights abuse in Myanmar, and Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution to Bangladesh have faced severe hardships including the lack of humanitarian aid, shelter and security. This present crisis is a tragic reminder of the vulnerabilities of stateless people when their countries of habitual residence and the international community fail to protect them. Urgent action is required to end the violence, protect the victims and bring those responsible to justice. Of equal importance is the need for a long-term process of reinstating Myanmar nationality to Rohingya who were arbitrarily deprived of a nationality in 1982, resolving ethnic conflicts and protecting the human rights and freedoms of Rohingya within Myanmar and in other countries. The Equal Rights Trust makes the following urgent and long-term recommendations to the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh and to the UNHCR and international community..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Equal Rights Trust
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 2.26MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/The%20Equal%20Rights%20Trust%20-%20Burning%20Homes%...
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: Myanmar: Displacement in Rakhine State. Situation Report No. 3 (28 June 2012)
Date of publication: 28 June 2012
Description/subject: HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES: "• The overall security situation is reported to be stable. Emergency rule and curfew remain in place in six Townships across Rakhine State. • According to official figures, 78 people are dead, 87 injured and 3,000 residential buildings are damaged as of 24 June. Over 52,200 people remained newly displaced across Rakhine State. Humanitarian partners estimate that around 90,000 people are affected, including the newly displaced people. • As of 25 June, WFP has provided 725 metric tons of food commodities (rice, pulses, oil and salt) to over 92,000 affected people in five townships, Sittwe, Pauktaw, Maungdaw, Rahtedaung and Buthidaung. • A total of 14 representatives from six UN agencies, six INGOs and two donor agencies left for Sittwe on 27 June to take part in a mission organized by the Government to observe the situation in Rakhine State and to strengthen coordination with the State Government as a primary focal point for the response. • The traffic on the road between Buthidaung and Maungdaw is interrupted due to a landslide..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
Format/size: pdf (103K)
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: Myanmar: Displacement in Rakkhine State, Myanmar
Date of publication: 27 June 2012
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Health Organisation (WHO)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/MMR_ESR1-2012.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: Myanmar: Displacement in Rakhine State. Situation Report No. 2 (20 June 2012)
Date of publication: 20 June 2012
Description/subject: HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES" "• According to official Government statistics dated 18 June, over 52,200 people have been displaced and are accommodated in 66 camps/villages. Unofficial estimates indicated that 80,000 to 90,000 people have been affected. • The Government has requested the RC/HC and humanitarian partners to support its response efforts. Humanitarian assistance delivery is ongoing. It includes food, medical, water and sanitation interventions. Food distribution that reached some 82,000 people as of 19 June. • The situation in Rakhine State has somewhat eased, although sporadic incidents continue to be reported..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
Format/size: pdf (255K)
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: Myanmar: Displacement in Rakhine State. Situation Report No. 1 (15 June 2012)
Date of publication: 15 June 2012
Description/subject: HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES: "• Instability in Rakhine State that started since 28 May has resulted in displacement of over 36,000 people who are now located in 43 camps/locations, loss of lives and damages to houses and communal buildings. This is an initial estimate which will need to be revised as more information becomes available and assessment are carried out. • The violence prompted the Government to impose curfew in six locations and declare the state of emergency on 10 June across the State. • At the invitation of the Minister for Border Affairs, a UN delegation led by Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar visited IDPs locations in Maungdaw. • The Government called for humanitarian partners to support the Government’s efforts to respond to the crisis. The UN and its humanitarian partners confirmed their readiness to provide humanitarian assistance all the affected people across Rakhine."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
Format/size: pdf (179K)
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: The Rohingya: Forced Migration and Statelessness
Date of publication: 28 February 2001
Description/subject: "Forced Migration in the South Asian Region: Displacement, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution" Paper submitted for publication in a book edited by Omprakash Mishra on "Forced Migration in South Asian Region", Centre for Refugee studies Jadavpur University, Calcutta and Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement. "In the eyes of the media and the general public, whether in Bangladesh or further afield, the situation of the Rohingya from Burma[ii] is usually referred to as a ?refugee problem?. Over the last two decades, Bangladesh has born the brunt of two mass exoduses, each of more then 200,000 people, placing them among the largest in Asia. Each of these massive outflows of refugees was followed by mass repatriation to Burma. Repatriation has been considered the preferred solution to the refugee crisis. However, this has not proved a durable solution, since the influx of Rohingyas over international borders has never ceased. And it is unlikely that it will stop, so long as the root causes of this unprecedented exodus are not effectively remedied. The international community has often focussed its attention on the deplorable conditions in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, rather than on the root causes of the problem, namely the denial of legal status and other basic human rights to the Rohingya in Burma. This approach doubtless stems from the practical difficulty of confronting an intractable military regime which refuses to recognise the Rohingya as citizens of Burma, and of working out solutions acceptable to all parties involved. The actual plight and continuous exodus of the Rohingya people has been rendered invisible. Though they continue to cross international borders, they are also denied the right of asylum, being labelled ?economic migrants?. The international community has preferred to ignore the extent of this massive forced migration, which has affected not only Bangladesh, but also other countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etc..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003