The brutalities endured by Burma’s Rohingya—the country’s most vulnerable population—were bad even before the recent coup. The US response must take their plight into account, or risk making it even worse.
With Myanmar’s military still controlling 25 percent of its parliament and a history of brutal crackdowns—not to mention the recent Rohingya crisis—COVID-19 is exacerbating the precarious balance between the military and civilians in power.
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on several members of the Burmese military, Border Guard Police commanders, and two Burmese military units for their involvement in mass atrocities. More states should do the same.
The Burmese military is the primary perpetrator of violence against Rohingya. Villages in Maungdaw township on the border with Bangladesh are almost completely empty because Rohingya fled the brutal violence. The United Nations is calling it a textbook case of ethnic cleansing, and Human Rights Watch believes it may constitute crimes against humanity.
Bangladesh is building one of the world’s largest refugee camps to house the hundreds of thousands of stateless Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar. Here’s what you should know about what the UN Refugee Agency calls the fastest-growing refugee emergency in the world today.