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Sep 17, 2017 | 13:16 GMT

1 min read

The Flight of Myanmar's Rohingya: A Visual Anthology

State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi is Myanmar's de facto leader. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has come under international fire for failing to be an advocate for the Rohingya.
(LAM YIK FEI/Getty Images)
Editor's Note

Over the past three weeks, a military crackdown and associated vigilante violence in Myanmar have forced 300,000 to 400,000 Muslim Rohingya to seek safety in Bangladesh. The country's actions, which followed an Aug. 25 attack by Rohingya insurgents on police and military outposts, have elicited condemnation from the Muslim world, have prompted the U.N. high commissioner for human rights to call the situation a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing," and have sullied the human rights reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto leader and the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group concentrated in Rakhine state near Myanmar's border with Bangladesh. The predominantly Buddhist Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as a valid ethnic group and does not grant its members citizenship. The Rohingya share space with another ethnic group known as the Buddhist Rakhine, whose members reportedly have been burning Rohingya villages. In this visual anthology, we present images that offer a glimpse into Myanmar's ethnic divisions and its turbulent history with the Rohingya population.

Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist, but it is also home to Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian groups. The recent crisis in Myanmar centers on the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group.

Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist, but it is also home to Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian groups. The recent crisis in Myanmar centers on the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group.

(TAYLOR WEIDMAN/Getty Images)
Myanmar's military, which is staging the crackdown on the Rohingya, has massive power in the country. In this photo taken Aug. 31, 2016, Myanmar military commander Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, left, speaks with Vice President Henry Van Thio as de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi looks on.

Myanmar's military, which is staging the crackdown on the Rohingya, has massive power in the country. In this photo taken Aug. 31, 2016, Myanmar military commander Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing (L) speaks with Vice President Henry Van Thio as de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi looks on.

(AUNG HTET/AFP/Getty Images)
Myanmar is home to a host of insurgent groups claiming to represent the interests of ethnic minorities. Some are aligned with the central government, others are negotiating for power and still others are engaged in active fighting. This Jan. 12, 2014, photo shows Ta'ang National Liberation Army fighters on parade in Shan State.

Myanmar is home to a host of insurgent groups claiming to represent the interests of ethnic minorities. Some are aligned with the central government; others are negotiating for power. Still others are engaged in active fighting. This photo taken Jan. 12, 2014, shows Ta'ang National Liberation Army fighters on parade in Shan state.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
Myanmar officially recognizes 135 ethnic groups under the umbrella of eight "major national ethnic races." The Rohingya are excluded from this list. Henry Van Hti Yu, an ethnic Chin lawmaker, leaves Myanmar's upper house of parliament on March 11, 2016.

Myanmar officially recognizes 135 ethnic groups under the umbrella of eight "major national ethnic races." The Rohingya are excluded from this list. Here, an ethnic Chin lawmaker leaves Myanmar's upper house of parliament on March 11, 2016.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
An insurgency group calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police and military outposts on Aug. 25, prompting Myanmar's military to crack down on the Rohingya in response. In 1992, the growth of another group, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, sparked a crisis with Bangladesh. In this March 1992 photo, a Rohingya fighter guards an outpost on the border.

An insurgency group calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police and military outposts on Aug. 25, prompting Myanmar's military to crack down on the Rohingya in response. In 1992, the growth of another group, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, sparked a crisis with Bangladesh. In this March 1992 photo, a Rohingya fighter guards an outpost on the border.

(NURUL ALAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Rohingya activists rallied against the Myanmar military during its longtime dictatorship. An ethnic Rohingya dissident participates in an October 2007 candlelight vigil demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratic icon who largely has been silent about the Rohingya.

Rohingya activists rallied against the Myanmar military during its longtime dictatorship. An ethnic Rohingya dissident participates in an October 2007 candlelight vigil demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratic icon who largely has been silent about the Rohingya's circumstances.

(TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Rohingya refugees have been present in Bangladesh for decades. This September 2009 photo shows an unregistered camp 400 kilometers (248 miles) southeast of Dhaka.

Rohingya refugees have been present in Bangladesh for decades. This September 2009 photo shows an unregistered camp 400 kilometers (248 miles) southeast of Dhaka.

(MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Rakhine Buddhists reportedly have burned thousands of Rohingya houses in western Rakhine state. Several young men walk past a burning structure on Sept. 7.

Rakhine Buddhists reportedly have burned thousands of Rohingya houses in western Rakhine state. Several young men walk past a burning structure on Sept. 7.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)
These Rohingya refugees are part of a mass exodus from Myanmar. The United Nations estimates that almost 400,000 of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar's military began cracking down on the Muslim ethnic group after a militant attack on Aug. 25.

These Rohingya refugees are part of a mass exodus from Myanmar. The United Nations estimates that almost 400,000 of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar's military began cracking down on the Muslim ethnic group after a militant attack on Aug. 25.

(DAN KITWOOD/Getty Images)

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