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A temple in Sittwe, capital of the Rakhine state. Annie Gowen/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Myanmar's Rakhine state is the site of recently discovered mass graves of Rohingya Muslims, killed by government troops "with help from Buddhist neighbors," per the AP, but the region's Buddhists feels they are the oppressed party, a BBC report shows.

Why it matters: The slaughter and expulsion of Muslims from the Rakhine state appears "increasingly like a genocide," writes the AP, and now there are efforts underway to repatriate the Rohingya that fled to Bangladesh. The BBC found "real fear among the Rakhine that the Rohingyas, after their brutal expulsion, will be more militant, bent on vengeance."

The history

Rakhine Buddhists consider themselves the indigenous people of the region. Their territory was conquered by the Burmese king in the late 18th century, and later colonized by the British. In the 1800s, waves of Muslims migrated to Rakhine from Bengal.

"We feel it's very hard for Rakhine people, stuck between Islamisation and Burmanisation," a local politician from a nationalist party told the BBC. "We have no power. We are poor. We are just trying to develop our people, our state. It's very hard for us to protect our identity. Maybe 50 or 100 years later, Rakhine, a nation in this country, will disappear."
The clashes

After a surge of violence beginning around 2013, in which "the Muslim population came off much worse," the state is now segregated by the government, with Muslims frequently confined to squalid camps.

  • "The historic resentment the Rakhine feel towards the Burmese state makes the conflict in their state a complex, three-way battle," the BBC reports.
Rohingya children near a camp in Bangladesh. Photo: Firat Yurdakul/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The big question

The Rohingya are stateless, with Myanmar refusing to grant them citizenship, and the hundreds of thousands of refugees now in Bangladesh say they won't return without citizenship.

"I did not meet a single Rakhine in Mrauk U who accepted this. They are convinced that the Muslim population has been swollen by illegal immigration from Bangladesh, and by Muslims deliberately having large families. Nothing could shake that conviction."
— The BBC's Jonathan Head
Go deeper

Go deeper

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.

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