They are an ethnic group, majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya who live in the Southeast Asian country.
The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.
The outbreak of violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority has reportedly killed thousands more people than the government admits.
At least 9,000 Rohingya died in Myanmar from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins sans frontieres, said Thursday. That’s 22.5 times the official government estimate of 400 deaths.
Most of the deaths in that month-long period ― 6,700 ― were from violence, the group said, citing surveys it conducted with survivors in refugee resettlement camps in Bangladesh. The toll includes at least 730 children younger than 5. Causes include gunfire, arson and beatings.
Survivors have told aid workers of seeing dozens of Rohingya villagers beaten, sexually assaulted, stabbed, and summarily executed, and said entire villages have been burned to the ground.