The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist country of Burma. A law passed in 1982 does not allow Rohingya to claim Burmese citizenship – as a result the Rohingya are stateless and subject to restrictions on movement. Decades of an effective apartheid in the country means the Rohingya are subject to intense discrimination.

Rakhine State, formerly known as Arakan, on the western coast of the country, has a large Rohingya population. The Burmese army, the Tatmadaw, controls the security forces in the state. Local border guard police and Tatmadaw have been conducting arrests in different villages over the past few days.

The Rohingya have been forced to flee as their homes were set alight. Images of charred bodies lying amid the debris of a destroyed village were posted on social media.