Issue Brief on “Bangladesh and the Rohingya Refugees”


After days of international pressure to address the situation of the Rohingya in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, and recognize the human rights abuses being suffered by the community, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi finally spoke about the issue on September 19. However, her speech caused much consternation as it underplayed the concerns of the Rohingya, over 420,000 of whom have fled to Bangladesh over the past several weeks,[1] following widespread violence and destruction.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajid has subsequently called for Myanmar to take back the refugees, and accused the Myanmar government of laying landmines along the border to stop the return of the Rohingya.[2] The crisis has been described by the United Nations as “ethnic cleansing” and Myanmar has faced severe international criticism, including in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York from September 12-25, 2017.[3]

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