Burma: communal violence in Rakhine state
In Rakhine State, Myanmar, there are two groups: Ethnic Rakhines and stateless people who are descendants from the tribes of Bangladesh who migrated into Rakhine state a long time ago. Rakhines are Buddhists and the Bengali descendants are Muslims.
Their cultures and languages are so different and there has been friction and conflict between the two groups, although both of them are minorities in comparison with other major ethnic tribes of Myanmar (Burma).
In the Northern part of Rakhine state, Muslims make up 96% of the total population of the region while the Rakhines are only 3%. In addition, due to the strict control on the movement and travel of the Muslims, the areas is densely populated, with as many as 86 people per square kilometer. The tension between these two groups has been intense for a long time. In June 2012, the conflicts erupted and violence between the two groups burst out. Residential houses, schools, monasteries, and mosques were burnt down after some lives had been claimed on both sides. Nowadays, with the help of UN agencies, NGOs, the Government and other civil societies, the communities are working hard to rehabilitate and rebuild their lives and properties.