Myanmar refugee deaths

This item appears on page 16 of the February 2018 issue.

The nongovernmental agency Doctors Without Borders conducted a survey of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and found that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed by the Myanmar military between Aug. 25 and Sept. 24, 2017.

The Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority who have lived in northwestern Myanmar since, at least, the founding of the country (then called Burma) in 1948, have accused the Myanmar government of human rights abuses against them. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and not citizens of Myanmar.

The current conflict began on Aug. 25, 2017, when Rohingya militants attacked 30 police posts in northern Rakhine state. The military’s response has caused more than 640,000 Rohin­gya to flee to Bangladesh. Despite its not considering them citizens, Myanmar signed an agreement with Bangladesh in November 2017 that would allow Bangladesh to return hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar.