By Dildar Baykan
ANKARA (AA) - Since the 1970s, more than 80 percent Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state have been forced to flee their home and take refuge in neighboring countries.
Between 1970 and 2017, more than 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and other Gulf and Asia Pacific countries, according to the International Organization for Migration.
The Muslim population in Rakhine state was estimated to be 800,000 in the beginning of 2017, according a report by the European Commission.
Since Aug. 25, 501,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
Only 300,000 Rohingya remain in Myanmar, according to estimates by the Bangladesh government.
Bangladesh estimates the number of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to neighbouring countries is 1.6 million.
According to this data, since 1970, 84 percent of nearly 1.9 million of Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee Myanmar. Only 16 percent remain in Rakhine state.
These numbers show that the Rohingya Muslims are on the verge of ethnic cleansing.
The recent influx of refugees have been caused by a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
A nationality law passed in 1982 in Myanmar denies them citizenship, labeling them stateless.