25th August marks the 3 years since thousands of Rohingya men, women, and children flee to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in search of safety, after they were forcibly displaced from Rakhine State, Myanmar due to conflict and persecution. According to UNHCR, over 742,000 fled to Bangladesh since 2017.

The evacuation began when the Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks on more than 30 police posts. According to medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), over 6700 Rohingyas including 730 children under the age of 5 were killed after the violence broke out. Amnesty International states that the Myanmar militants also raped and abused Rohingya women and girls.  The Myanmar government claims that “clearance operations” against the militants ended on 5 September. They also put the number of dead at 400. According to an analysis by Human Rights Watch after 2017 more than 288 villages were partially destroyed by fire in the northern Rakhine states. They also claim that most destruction happened in Maungdaw Township, between 25 August and 25 September 2017, with numerous towns devastated after 5 September, when Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said security drive operations had ended.

© Reuters

The bright side for this crisis is, The Gambia, one of the tiniest nations in Africa, has filed a case against Myanmar, at the United Nation’s top court “International Court of Justice” (ICJ),  accusing contraventions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in connection with the Rohingyas. The Gambia lodged the case on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Apart from the OIC, the Gambia received wide support from only two western countries: Canada and the Netherlands. The case was called for emergency measures to be taken against the Myanmar military until the whole investigation is launched. Aung San Suu Kyi rejected allegations of genocide when she appeared at the court in December 2019. But in January 2020, the court’s initial ruling ordered Myanmar to take emergency measures to protect the Rohingya from being persecuted and killed. In January 2020, the court’s initial ruling ordered Myanmar to take emergency measures to secure the Rohingya from being oppressed and killed. Although Myanmar is not a member of the court, the ICC ruled it had jurisdiction in the case because Bangladesh, where victims fled to, is a member.

©  PTI

Kutupalong, the largest refugee settlement in the world claimed by the UNHCR, hosts more than 600,000 refugees alone. In March 2019, Bangladesh declared it would not accept Rohingya escaping Myanmar. An agreement for the return of refugees was made by Bangladesh and Myanmar government in early 2018, but none returned. They said they would not consider going back to Myanmar unless they were given assurance that they would be given citizenship. Even after 3 years of exodus occurred, the future of the Rohingya Refugees seems as certain as ever.

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