International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Early Warning in Burma

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The “G-word” has recently come up in regards to the escalation of mass violence currently taking place in Burma. The perpetrators, ethnic Buddhist Rahkine, began attacking Burma’s Muslim minority, the Rohingya, in early October in response to militant attacks on police outposts. It does not appear that the group is acting under the authority of Aung San Suu Kyi, but it’s obvious the Burmese government is most definitely not doing anything to stop it. Several indicators of genocide developed by past scholars have been evidenced in the war-torn Rahkine State, some of which include “the systematic dehumanization of the target group”, “their isolation inside camps and barricaded ghettos”, and “violent 2016-12-02-2attacks on them involving the participation of security forces”. Oddly familiar, don’t you think? The Wall Street Journal has, in a recent article, pointed out the
unnerving similarities between the aspects of this event and the hallmarks of tragedies like those in Bosnia, Darfur, Kosovo, and Rwanda.

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2 responses to “Early Warning in Burma

  1. fmb10 December 4, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    In Burma the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority have been referred to as “the most oppressed people on earth”. Since abuse began in 2010 the minority group has been faced with attacks and abuse by the Rahkine including ethnic cleansing, human rights abuses, blocking of humanitarian aid and anti-muslim violence. In Burma all Rohingya have been stripped of their citizen ship and the rights that that entails. Despite the evidence that the government has shown no ability or willingness to protect their citizens the international community has done little to reprimand their actions. There are no sanctions on the country, high-level diplomats continue to visit and both economic and military cooperation by the international community has increased. As mentioned above this situation does show chilling similarities to the atrocities that occurred in countries like Rwanda and Bosnia. Hopefully some action will be taken either by the government itself or the international community before conflict escalates further.

  2. ellesnyder December 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Genocide Watch categorizes eight stages of genocide – six of which discuss precursors to genocide. First comes classification then symbolization, next dehumanization, then organization, polarization, and reparation before acts of extermination and finally denial of the genocide. It appears that in Burma, stages from dehumanization through likely unreported organization of state forces, obvious social polarization between ethnic groups, and reparation by separating and identifying the targeted group all the way to potential acts aimed at extermination have occurred. Because Burma has not officially ratified the Rome Statute the only way for an international case of Genocide against leaders in the Burmese government would be for the Security Council to refer the case to the ICC. The likelihood of such a move is unknown at this time but the continued in action by the international community in response to ethnic violence in Burma provides an indication.

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