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. Since the recent attack, The Burmese military, alongside Buddhist nationalist militias, commenced “counter-terrorist clearance operations” on Rohingya villages on August 25th 2017. 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 Burmese military and Buddhist militias have launched a scorched earth campaign razing hundreds of Rohingya villages in the Rakhine state. Satellite imagery released by Human Rights Watch indicates the extent to which the damage has been inflicted. The Nobel Peace Prize winner Aaung San Suu Kyi remains silent over the atrocities being committed and the UN has labelled the atrocities as 'Ethnic cleansing.' Bangladesh is struggling to cope with the influx having recently been affected by the worst flooding in 40 years, draining it of vital aid supplies.
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