One of the seven ethnic states of Myanmar. Geographically i is a part of the territories of Lower Burma. Rakhine is located in the south-west of the country and has a border with Bangladesh. This autonomy is the second poorest state in Myanmar.
The titular ethnic group - Rakhine people - make up about 70% of the state's population. This ethnic group is the closest to the Burmese of all titular groups of the ethnic autonomies of Myanmar. Rakhine people profess Buddhism and speak a language related to Burmese.
Unlike the territories of Upper Burma, the Rakhine people did not gain an autonomous status after Burma gained independence. This caused discontent among local elites and led to ethnic mobilization. It was accompanied by major uprisings in the region. In 1974, the center granted the state of Rakhine an autonomous status. Separatist organizations continue their activities but have largely lost their social base in the region. However, Rakhine has the strongest ethno-regional parties in Myanmar.
At the same time, in recent years, another ethnopolitical conflict has come to the fore in the region. It is a conflict between the Rakhine people and the ethnic minority - Rohingya people, whose number, according to various sources, reaches 800 thousand people. Rohingya are Bengali migrants (Muslims from Bangladesh). They fundamentally differ from the region's titular ethnic group in terms of language and religion. Since the government considers them to be illegal refugees (Rohingya people themselves claim to have been living in the state for several centuries), they do not have citizenship, with all the ensuing consequences. In recent years, the intensification of the armed groups of the Rohingya people and the harsh reaction to this of the Burmese army has led to a sharp aggravation of the situation in the region.