About 200,000 Rohingya people rallied in the World’s largest refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, today to mark two years since the start of the biggest ever stream of refugees out of Myanmar. They were forced to flee violence by Myanmar forces. Today’s rally was described as Genocide Day.

In August 2017, around 740,000 Rohingya, residents of Myanmar’s Rakhine state, were forced to flee their homes during the brutal army operation, joining another 200,000 who fled earlier persecution. The Rohingya refugee people now live in three dozen camps located in Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar.

Myanmar had said they were conducting counter-insurgency operations against Rohingya extremists, however, in 2018 the UN called for Myanmar’s top generals to be prosecuted for genocide over the treatment of Rohingya people.

Rohingya, who are a stateless minority, want to return home, but only under the condition they will be granted granted citizenship, their security will be ensured and they will be allowed to comeback to their villages and homes. They have asked the Myanmar authorities for a dialogue, but so far have not received a response.

The Rohingya are not recognised as an official minority by the Myanmar government, which instead considers them Bengali: despite many families having lived in the country for generations.

Photo: Rohingyas at the Kutupalong refugee camp, October 2017. Credit: Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0