Time stands still for more than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims, who are still unable to return home two years after being driven out of northern Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh, fleeing widespread killings, rape, and the burning of their villages at the hands of the Myanmar military. The recently failed attempt to repatriate refugees underscores just how inadequate the conditions are for their return.
A United Nations-backed fact-finding mission has found sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior military officials for grave crimes, including genocide. Yet the Myanmar government continues to defy the UN Human Rights Council by denying these rights violations ever took place and refusing to investigate seriously and prosecute these crimes or cooperate with international efforts.
The refugees joined around 200,000 other Rohingya refugees already living in camps in Bangladesh who fled persecution and violence in Rakhine state as far back as 1993. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya illegal immigrants and has in effect denied them citizenship, despite most of them having lived in Myanmar for generations. Today, the Rohingya live in the largest refugee settlement in the world, where almost a million people await the chance to return home one day.