Week 11 Discussion crisis in Burma ethnic cleansing

  • Following the UN”s definition, is growing crisis in Burma ethnic cleansing? Or, is it more closely aligned with sectarian violence?
  • Given the atrocities experienced by the Rohingya ppl, who is to blame? Can/should the international community hold Aung Sun Suu Kyi accountable?
  • How should the international community respond to the ongoing crisis?
  • According to the readings, do country specific modalities dictate integration?

response for only 1 question  of the 4

300-350 words

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students examples:

1. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the growing crisis in Burma can be associated with both of the above terms. In specific, the UN OCHA states that “up to 140,000 Rohingya and Burmese Muslims were displaced by sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing” (UN OCHA, 2013), implying that both have played a part in harming the Rohingya people. However, in the article titled, “Forced Migration and Ethnic Cleansing: Rohingya Adrift in Southeast Asia,” Sophie Smith and Jennifer Geleff explain that “[b]y denying them any patch of earth, the Myanmar government is directly implicated in the decimation of the Rohingya people; acts that must be deemed ethnic cleansing” (Smith & Geleff, 2015). Further, they continue on to describe the “blatantly oppressive and racist policies” that have been applied to the Rohingya people in Burma, emphasizing that their human rights have been stripped away, leaving them to suffer through unimaginable conditions. Given this, as well as the fact that the UN views the Rohingya as one of the most persecuted ethic groups across the globe, it is my opinion that the crisis aligns more closely to that of ethnic cleansing.


Smith, Sophie, and Jennifer Geleff. “Forced Migration and Ethnic Cleansing: Rohingya Adrift in Southeast Asia.” Alternatives International, 2015, www.alterinter.org/?Forced-Migration-and-Ethnic-Cleansing-Rohingya-Adrift-in-Southeast-Asia.

UN OCHA (2013) Humanitarian Bulletin. Myanmar, 18 April–31 May


another example

  • How should the international community respond to the ongoing crisis?

– The situation that is occurring in Mynamar is cruel, inhumane, and needs to be addressed now; there are people being killed, raped, and tortured. Myanmar is continuing to experience the Rohingya refugee crisis, an estimated 800,000 Rohingya have been forced out of the country with violence and at least 6,700 Rohingya have been killed. In January 2020, the UN’s top court ordered the country to take measures to protect members of its Rohingya community from genocide, however, the army of Myanmar continues to state that they are fighting Rohingya militants and denies the targeting of innocent civilians. The president of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, has repeatedly failed to acknowledge the allegations of genocide against the minority. Moreover, on February 1st, 2021 the country experienced a coup d’etat from the military in which government officials and members of civil society including the countries leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, were detained. The people of Myanmar have been protesting on the streets every day since the coup; the violence from the military has escalated and has caused an estimated 300 deaths, a number that rises every day. I believe that is clear that this country needs the international community to respond before the crisis worsens. The security council voiced concern over the state of emergency but Russia and China prevented the council from condemning the coup. Therefore, the states that condemn the crisis in this country need to continue to impose targeted sanctions on the military officials, pause all exports with Myanmar to avoid financial assistance to the military. The UNSC needs to immediately impose the R2P doctrine and begin by commanding an arms embargo on the country and sanction General Min Aung Hlaing, and other senior military officials. UN members have the responsibility to hold the Myanmar military accountable and should take measures to delegitimize the military regime. Lastly, the UN has a responsibility to condemn these acts against humanity and should use all of the resources possible to stop these inhumane actions that are occurring in Myanmar immediately.


Reuters. “UN envoy urges Security Council to take action against Myanmar’s junta.” france24.comhttps://www.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20210306-un-envoy-urges-security-council-to-take-action-against-myanmar-s-junta (Links to an external site.).

Reuters. “UN envoy urges Security Council to take action against Myanmar’s junta.” france24.com, https://www.france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20210306-un-envoy-urges-security-council-to-take-action-against-myanmar-s-junta.


2.) Aung Suu Kyi should have been held accountable when she was still in power, however circumstances have changed. During the peak of attention the world gave to the Rohingya genocide, Aung Suu Kyi failed to condemn the ethnic cleansing the military of Myanmar practiced in Rakhine state. Her failures to speak out against the ethnic cleansing was deeply criticized worldwide, and her accolades were revoked. There was, however, suspicions that the entrenched influence the Burmese military holds in Myanmar’s politics pressured Aung Suu Kyi to keep silent on the issues. There also existed the possibility that the military’s actions against the Rakhine were out of her control, although this should not excuse the absence of morals in defending any massacre. Now, post-February coup, it has become clear that the Burmese military was intent in assuming complete control of the country. Since the day of the coup, the Burmese military has mercilessly slaughtered unarmed civilians protesting against the coup’s assault on Myanmar’s fragile democracy. The track-record of the Burmese military indicates they hold most, if not all responsibility in the Rohingya genocide. The international community should do everything in its power to investigate the pernicious events unfolding within Myanmar, however China has already demonstrated their position on the situation by vetoing a UNSC measure to condemn the Myanmar coup. The question of can the international community hold anyone accountable in Myanmar would then be “no”, unless a coalition of states would be willing to break international law and potentially start a war over it.  Economic embargoes have a pitiful success rate, as demonstrated by its failure to halt human rights abuses in any country, even when they are imposed with UN authorization like on North Korea. With these factors in consideration, there is no way to hold anyone accountable unless western states would be willing to put down countless lives in order to depose the suspects perpetuating the genocide.



https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46179292 (Links to an external site.)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55913947 (Links to an external site.)



that has garnered significant attention from the international community. The Rohingya, a Muslim minority group in Burma, have faced a long history of persecution and discrimination at the hands of the Burmese government and military. In recent years, the situation has escalated to the point where many believe that the actions taken against the Rohingya constitute ethnic cleansing, if not outright genocide.

The Rohingya have faced numerous atrocities, including mass killings, rape, and forced displacement. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), “up to 140,000 Rohingya and Burmese Muslims were displaced by sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing” (UN OCHA, 2013). In addition, a report by the International Criminal Court (ICC) found that the Burmese military had committed widespread and systematic human rights abuses against the Rohingya, including rape, murder, and torture.

In light of these events, many have called for the international community to take action in response to the crisis in Burma. Some have called for the imposition of economic sanctions, while others have called for the deployment of peacekeeping forces to protect the Rohingya and other minority groups. In addition, there have been calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the crimes committed against the Rohingya, and for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions……..

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