AFP coverage: Rohingya Crisis 2017. 

The origin of this story is rooted in the context of over 100 years of historical British colonial rule in the area covering what is now Burma and Bangladesh. In October 2016, and again in August 2017, after years of being effectively stateless in their historical land formerly called Arakan, ARSA (The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) launched attacks on Burmese police bases in defiance to decades of lacking basic citizenship rights by a state which fails to recognize the Rohingya as an official ethnic group of Burma.

The Burmese state responded by stationing military outposts near Rohingya villages. Following the August 2017 attack, The Burmese military, alongside Buddhist nationalist militias, commenced “counter-terrorist clearance operations” on Rohingya villages. What ensued was the forcible displacement of 550,000 Rohingya in the space of less than a month. It is the heaviest flow of forced migration of people since the Rwandan genocide. The UN has labelled the atrocities as 'Ethnic cleansing.'