What next for the Rohingya? Fresh thinking needed to resolve crisis


The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee called for the Myanmar army chief to be prosecuted for “genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”, CIVICUS reports. A UN fact-finding report in August 2018 had found evidence of such serious crimes particular against the Rohingya in the Rakhine state as well as in the Kachin and Shan states.

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy marked the third anniversary of its rise to power last Saturday, but this is only a reminder that she has less than two years to rev up the economy before the next general election. The government is now pushing to accelerate reforms, but progress has been slow over the last three years, Reuters reports:

Democratization and the political ascent of Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi had raised hopes of a full-on economic transformation, said Filip Lauwerysen, executive director at the European Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar. [but] officials are “very underpaid and understaffed,” and communication between ministries and government agencies is lacking….

Reversing the investment decline might help the NLD. But as far as European investors are concerned, Lauwerysen said it is important for them to see that the “Myanmar authorities recognize [the Rohingya issue] as a big problem and are trying to cooperate to find a solution.”

Fresh Thinking is Needed to Solve the Rohingya Crisis, Center for Global Policy Director for Displacement and Migration Azeem Ibrahim argued in the Washington Post. “The Rohingya Are Not Going Home to Myanmar. Can Bangladesh Cope?” he asked.

International institutions largely failed to fight overwhelming inequality and remained silent on the human rights abuses of states such as Saudi Arabia and Sudan, disappointing the people of Syria and the Rohingya in Myanmar, among many others, according to CIVICUS’s annual 2019 “State of Civil Society” report.

In August 2017, security forces in Burma’s Rakhine state staged a harsh and extended crackdown on the Rohingya—a deeply marginalized and persecuted Muslim minority community, the Wilson Center adds. At a forthcoming event, Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen, a top expert on Burma, will discuss developments involving the Rohingya since the 2017 crackdown, including key recent events, and what might be in store next for the troubled community. Does the political will exist in Burma to improve conditions for the Rohingya and to address the underlying issues that fuel their persecution? What will become of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh? Dr. Kipgen will address these questions with former Reagan-Fascell fellow Michael C. Davis.


Nehginpao Kipgen: Associate Professor and Executive Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University (India).

Michael C. Davis: Fellow, Professor of Law and International Affairs, Jindal Global University, Delhi, India


Print Friendly, PDF & Email