Rohingya refugees arrive in Bangladesh, September 2017.
Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Over the past month, 436,000 Rohingya have fled from their homes in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State to neighboring Bangladesh. This is the second exodus of Rohingya, members of a Muslim ethnic minority, in the past year. The current exodus, like the previous one in October 2016 that led 87,000 to flee, is being driven by a brutal government crackdown following attacks by armed Rohingya.

Despite calls from international rights groups for stronger action to stop the violence, there appears to be little appetite within the wider international community for more robust intervention. Permitting the current crisis to unfold, however, eats away at its credibility and threatens peace and stability in Southeast Asia.


On August 25, militants attacked 30 police posts and an army base in northern Rakhine State, killing ten police officers, a soldier, and an immigration official. Following this attack, the government designated the organization responsible, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation

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  • LYNN KUOK is a Nonresident Fellow at Brookings Institution and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. She is a council member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Security.
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