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What is Happening in Western Myanmar?

by Joshua Kurlantzick
November 14, 2016

western-myanmar-rohingya Men walk at a Rohingya village outside Maugndaw in Rakhine state, Myanmar on October 27, 2016. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

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Over the past month, the situation in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which has been extremely volatile since an eruption of violence in the early 2010s, has deteriorated once again. Following an attack on police outposts near the border with Bangladesh in early October, which killed at least nine policemen, the state is on edge. Some human rights groups have reported that the security forces and police, as well as individuals, are striking back at ethnic Rohingya, since militant Rohingya Muslims were believed to be behind the killings of the police. Although the security forces, which are dominated by Buddhist ethnic Rakhines, supposedly have been targeting only militant suspects, they have spread their net widely, unleashing a wave of destruction.

For more on my analysis of the increasingly dangerous situation in western Myanmar, see my new article for World Politics Review. 

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