Following extensive research, the Sentinel Project has concluded that the risk of genocide or related mass atrocities in Burma is extremely high. Despite recent democratic reforms in the country, violence, discrimination, and extrajudicial killings continue and are mostly directed toward the Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine state. Violence and other crimes against the Rohingya, which are conducted by both state and non-state groups, are both widespread and systematic.
Confidential and open-source evidence has revealed that, contrary to government statements and most media reporting, inter-ethnic violence is not merely communal or criminal in nature, but is part of a state-sponsored campaign of ethnic cleansing with the distinct possibility of genocide carried out either through extermination by killing squads or more slowly by isolation and starvation. While virtually all of the elements of the genocidal process are present in Burma, it is too early to determine whether genocide itself is currently occurring. Such a determination depends upon both the continued systematic ethnic cleansing of Muslim-populated regions and upon continued isolation, denial of aid, and restriction of movement, which could be interpreted as indicators of genocidal intent. Currently, upwards of 110,000 Rohingya are housed in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, which represents one eighth of the estimated Rohingya population of Burma.
Of the multiple signs of an impending genocide crisis, the Sentinel Project is particularly concerned by the following evidence:
If Gregory Stanton’s rubric of a staged model of genocide is applied to Burma, a “genocide emergency” must now be declared and the options for intervention are limited. At the international, state-focused level, United Nations Security Council must be mobilized and heavy assistance must be provided to the Rohingya in preparation for their self-defense. Since humanitarian assistance is denied in Burma, preparations must be made for the continuing outflow of refugees. Refugee camps in bordering countries are already overcrowded and in poor condition with Thailand and Bangladesh receiving most of the people fleeing the violence.
Click here to read the full risk assessment report (PDF).
Operational Process Monitoring is a continuous process of tracking events in an situation of concern (SOC) to identify event patterns and key actors involved. Events are classified according to the Operational Process model, which defines nine processes that underlie every historical instance of genocide. These processes, defined in detail in the section Stages of Genocide Model, all contribute to planning or implementing genocide.
You have access to the data visualization of the events logged in our Sentinel Conflict Tracking System by our Burma Research Team. You can visualize on a map the different events, at specific time and classified by tags.