Who are the Rohingya?

The Myanmar government does not recognise the roughly 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya as citizens, creating a stateless people.

In 2012, deadly clashes with Buddhists in the western state of Rakhine caused 140,000 Rohingya to flee their homes. Many have since paid people smugglers to take them on dangerous sea voyages to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia where they are often exploited.

Extremist nationalist movements insist the group are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, although the Rohingya say they are native to Rakhine state.

Rights groups accuse Myanmar authorities of ethnic cleansing, systematically forcing Rohingya from the country through violence and persecution, a charge the government has denied.

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