2017: Myanmar's Rohingya crackdown, Trump's 'travel ban' and North Korea's missiles

Myanmar’s all-powerful army launches an offensive in the state of Rakhine in August.

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2017: Myanmar's Rohingya crackdown, Trump's 'travel ban' and North Korea's missiles

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Myanmar’s all-powerful army launches an offensive in the state of Rakhine in August. It comes in response to an attack by insurgents from the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas flee the brutal crackdown. The United Nations calls the crackdown “textbook ethnic cleansing.” The lucky ones make it to neighbouring Bangladesh. Many lose their lives trying to escape.

World leaders discuss how to punish both Myanmar’s army, and the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won a Nobel Peace Prize as a champion of democracy.

Suu Kyi condemns the human rights violations and says she is committed to finding a lasting solution to the conflict.

The same day, the UN secretary general calls for Myanmar authorities to end the military operations, allow unhindered humanitarian access and recognize the right of refugees to return in safety and dignity.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc would support Suu Kyi in finding and implementing a solution.

Suu Kyi meets the Bangladeshi foreign minister in November. The two countries sign an deal allowing the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.

Less than a week later, Pope Francis visits the Myanmar. He calls for the respect of all ethnic groups but avoids using the word “Rohingya.”

It is only in Bangladesh when he is openly speaking to a group of refugees he says: “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya.”

Trump’s travel restrictions

A week after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, he signs a executive order restricting travel to the US for people from seven Muslim-majority countries, a campaign promise to suspend immigration from terror-prone places.

The next day protests extend from the east coast to the west coast of the country, in airports and streets, but also in the courts.

Trump’s “travel ban” is suspended by a federal judge in Seattle. After a long legal battle a third executive order is signed, which includes North Korea and Venezuela among others.

President Trump also signs an executive order to build a wall along the Mexican border, but Congress does not approve the budget to make it happen .. even though a call for prototypes had been issued months earlier.

In December,Trump says the wall would be built, otherwise there would be a lot of very unhappy people, starting with me, he said.

Trump also triggers panic among the so-called dreamers,
about 800,000 young people who arrived to the US with their parents, but without papers. Trump repealed an Obama-era protecting them from deportation.

Kim Jong-un defies the world

In February, North Korea says it successfully test-fired a new type of ballistic missile.

The newly-inaugurated US president, Donald Trump tells reporters that “…North Korea is a big, big problem and we will deal with that very strongly.”

In April, the USS Carl Vinson strike group heads towards Korean Peninsula following what a US defence official calls Pyongyang’s provocations.

On the Fourth of July, Pyongyang, launches an intercontinental missile (ICBM).

A month later, the UN Security Council votes for new economic sanctions against North Korea, while Washington pushes Beijing to increase the pressure on North Korea.

Rallies in Pyongyang support the regime, which threatens to strike Guam, a US island territory home to strategically important military bases.

On August 29, Kim Jong Un is photographed observing the launch of a medium-range Hwasong-12 missile flying over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

In September, North Korean’s sixth nuclear test, this one claimed by Pyongyang to be a hydrogen bomb: ten times more powerful than its previous test.

Donald Trump warns that North Korea will be “totally destroyed” if the US is forced to defend itself. He calls Kim Jong Un, a “rocket man on a suicide mission.”

Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

On December 6, Trump says in a speech that the US will officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement stirs anger across the Arab and Muslim world and concern among Washington’s European allies as well as Russia.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises the declaration as a “historic day” and an “important step towards peace.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the US is “deliberately undermining all peace efforts” and abandoning its historic role of “sponsor of the peace process.”

The Palestinian militant group Hamas says it opens “the gates of hell.” Its leader calls for a new uprising against Israel.

Hamas also calls for a Palestinian “Day of Rage” in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Two people are killed in clashes with Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

At the UN, the ambassadors of France, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Germany say that this decision “is not in accordance with Security Council resolutions.” US Ambassador Nikki Haley defends the US declaration to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

ISIL loses Mosul and Raqqa

The Iraqi city of Mosul is liberated three years after it was taken by ISIL and proclaimed its “caliphate.”

Iraqi troops celebrate their victory on the shores of the Tigris.

The battle of Mosul lasts more than eight months. It is in the old city that the fighting is the hardest, the slower and more deadly for both Iraqi troops and civilians. The United Nations says about 100,000 civilians had been held as human shields by ISIL fighters.

In Raqqa, Syria, it is during October that the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of mostly Kurdish fighters, celebrate their victory over ISIL.

Since 2014 the Syrian city on the edge of the Euphrates, had become the epicenter of their so-called caliphate.

After four months of fierce fighting, Raqqa is ravaged, emptied of its population, but pockets of resistance still persist between the ruins.