The alleged atrocities in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims in the country’s Rakhine State follow a pattern similar to events in 2003 known as the Darfur genocide in western Sudan according to a Cornell University historian.
John Hubbel Weiss, a history professor at Cornell University whose research and teaching focuses on genocidal regimes, says the Rohingya crisis is similar to the Darfur genocide in several key ways.
“Leading up to both atrocities, there was stigmatization of people as the ‘other’, racial historical myths used to back up stigmatization, isolation of the killing fields, and attacks on free speech.
“In both instances we’ve seen a military that promotes militias to help with ‘ethnic cleansing,’ attacks on civilians that are deliberately atrocious as a terrorizing device to drive out a population, and a government who labels those actively defending victims of ‘ethnic cleansing’ as terrorists. The events in Rakhine State appear to be Darfur all over again.”