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(24th April 2024)

Who are the Rohingya? For Burma are subhumans because it doesn’t even grant them citizenship, for Bangladesh, where a million of them got refuge to escape the massacres ordered by the military junta in power in Myanmar, inconvenient guests to be sent back as soon as possible.

The only one who talks about them every now and then is Pope Francis although they are mostly Muslims.

So, who are these Rohingya?



They are a people who use a language related to Bengali: they live in the northern part of Burma, in the state of Rakhine (also known as Arakan) on the border with Bangladesh.

Some says they originate from Arakan, while others maintain that they migrated to Burma at the time of British domination.

This country, as already mentioned, doesn’t recognize them as citizens, because their ethnicity isn’t included in the list of 135 ethnic groups included in the law issued when Newin was in power between 1962 to 1990.



The world learned of their existence when in 2012 they suffered mass massacres at the hands of the Burmese army: 400 thousand of them fled to Bangladesh which placed them on certain islands in the Bay of Bengal where refugee camps were set up.

In the following years their number rose to almost one million, confined to inhospitable places where it isn’t possible to carry out any activity, both because the environmental conditions don’t allow it and because the authorities in Dhaka forbidden them.

At the moment, the Rohingya are, according to the United Nations, the most persecuted and, we add, the most forgotten people in the world.



Members of this people who seek hospitality in other countries encounter xenophobia.

A few months ago, the Guardian reported that on the island of Aceh, Indonesia, which in the past welcomed refugees easily and without hostility, recently, also due to false news spread on social media, TikTok in particular, now rejects them out of hand.

«In early December – It writes[1] – hundreds of Rohingya refugees walked along the coast, guided only by the faint glow of the lights of a nearby village, after a dangerous boat journey. When the group, which included young children, reached their destination, the reaction was mixed.

Locals have gathered to protest the landings, warning that resources are too limited to accommodate the new arrivals. In late December, a crowd broke into a building housing refugee families, including children, forcing 137 people into trucks. They were taken to a government building, while protesters demanded that they be removed.»

The hate campaign began when the presidential race on February 14, 2024 was taking off: the posts aimed to demonise refugees by describing them as ungrateful, dirty, bad Muslims.

They were described as a waste of resources and a danger to the local population.

According to the UNHCR, it was an initiative orchestrated by communications professionals who in fact achieved its objective: to sow hatred towards the Rohingya and spread fear.



According to a BBC report, carried out in 2019, amphetamine use is widespread among the Rohingya living in refugee camps set up by Bangladesh. The documentary highlights that this drug, at first, reduces the sense of fatigue and keeps you awake, subsequently producing depression and the desire to kill himself.

Although there are very expensive detox clinics for drug addicts, drugs cause havoc especially among young people who see no prospects for their future.

At a time when public opinion is seriously and rightly concerned about what is happening in Gaza, someone should also be interested in the terrible fate of the Rohingya, despised and rejected by everyone.






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