top of page

Rohingya Genocide: International Failure

Todd Price, MBA

Mar 3, 2023

Todd Price, MBA


The Rohingya are an ethnic minority group in Myanmar, primarily residing in the Rakhine State. They are predominantly Muslim and have faced decades of persecution and discrimination by the Myanmar government and military. The most recent and severe form of persecution against the Rohingya has been labeled a genocide by the United Nations. This paper aims to examine the genocide of the Rohingya people by analyzing the historical, political, and social factors that led to this atrocity.

Historical Context

The Rohingya have a complex history that spans centuries. They are believed to have migrated to Myanmar from present-day Bangladesh in the 15th century (International Crisis Group, 2018). The British colonial administration recognized the Rohingya as a distinct ethnic group in the 19th century and granted them citizenship in Myanmar in 1948. However, the military junta that came to power in 1962 began to strip the Rohingya of their rights and privileges, including their citizenship (Human Rights Watch, 2018).

Political Context

The political situation in Myanmar has been tumultuous since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948. The country has been ruled by a series of military regimes that have suppressed political opposition and ethnic minority groups. The ruling military junta, known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), began a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya in the 1990s. The campaign included mass arrests, forced relocations, and the destruction of Rohingya villages (Smith, 2018).

Social Context

The Rohingya have been a marginalized and oppressed group in Myanmar for decades. They have faced discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives, including education, healthcare, and employment. The Rohingya have also been subjected to physical and sexual violence by the Myanmar military and Buddhist extremists. The anti-Rohingya sentiment has been fueled by nationalist and Buddhist extremist groups in Myanmar, who view the Rohingya as a threat to the Buddhist identity of the country (Amnesty International, 2017).

Genocidal Acts

Several acts of violence and persecution have characterized the genocide of the Rohingya people. The Myanmar military has been accused of mass killings, torture, rape, and arson against Rohingya villages. The United Nations has stated that the military’s actions intend to destroy the Rohingya as a group (United Nations, 2018).

International Response

The international community has been slow to respond to the crisis in Myanmar, with many countries hesitant to criticize the Myanmar government due to economic and political interests. The United Nations has declared the situation in Myanmar a genocide, and several countries have imposed sanctions on the Myanmar government and military. However, more needs to be done to hold the perpetrators of the genocide accountable and provide justice for the Rohingya (Amnesty International, 2018).


The genocide of the Rohingya people is a tragic and devastating event that has unfolded over decades. The historical, political, and social factors contributing to the genocide are complex and require a comprehensive solution. The international community must continue to pressure the Myanmar government and military to end the genocide and hold those responsible accountable. Additionally, efforts must be made to provide justice and support for the Rohingya people who have suffered from this atrocity.


Amnesty International. (2017). Myanmar: Military persecution of Rohingya continues. Retrieved from

Amnesty International. (2018). Myanmar: Human rights crisis continues. Retrieved from

Human Rights Watch. (2018). Myanmar: Events of 2017. Retrieved from

International Crisis Group. (2018). The Rohingya Crisis. Retrieved from

Smith, M. (2018). The Rohingya crisis: A timeline. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from

United Nations. (2018). Fact-finding mission on Myanmar exposes military business ties and implicates army commander-in-chief in all four crimes under international law. Retrieved from

Image by <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=2099216">Gordon Johnson</a> from <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=2099216">Pixabay</a>

bottom of page