The Stream

Who will save the Rohingya?

A humanitarian crisis intensifies as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar’s army.

They’re described by many as the most persecuted people on earth and despite calls for help, the situation seems to be getting worse for Myanmar’s Rohingya population.

Over the past two weeks, roughly 150,000 Rohingya Muslims have flooded into neighbouring Bangladesh from the northern Rakhine state after a resurgence of violence between a small Rohingya armed group and the Myanmar military. Rights groups, though, say the army is also targeting civilians in a vicious and indiscriminate campaign of retribution.

The mass exodus has sparked a major humanitarian crisis. Many do not have enough food or shelter and United Nations officials say aid deliveries are being blocked and supply warehouses looted.

And, as the crisis deepens, international condemnation of Myanmar’s de facto leader – Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi – is mounting. Critics want the once darling of human rights groups stripped of the prize for failing to speak out in defence of a persecuted minority. Suu Kyi has blamed what she calls “terrorists” for “a huge iceberg of misinformation” on the violence.

In a rare move, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has written to the Security Council to warn there is now a risk of ethnic cleansing.

So what can be done? And who will save the Rohingya? We discuss at 19:30 GMT.

Joining The Stream:

Wakar Uddin @wquddin
Director General, Arakan Rohingya Union

Simon Ingram @singram57
Spokesperson, UNICEF

Than Lwin Htun @tlhtun
Chief Burmese Service, Voice of America

Derek Mitchell
Former US Ambassador to Myanmar

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