Urges Burmese government to end the violence in the Rakhine State, calls on Trump administration to use all available tools to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable
Washington (October 25, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, in a meeting today with Myanmar’s Ambassador to the United States Aung Lynn, urged the Myanmar Government to end the violence and hold accountable those responsible for the so called “clearance operations” in the Rakhine State.
“Many of the Rohingya who have arrived in Bangladesh following so-called clearance operations claim that Tatmadaw soldiers entered their villages, killed civilians, raped women and girls, and then burned down the entire village,” Senator Markey told Myanmar’s Ambassador. “International medical teams treating the Rohingya in these camps report that some people bear gunshot wounds consistent with being shot from behind, and some women and girls have injuries consistent with sexual assault. The systematic nature of these crimes and the consistency in the reports make it clear that the military bears responsibility for these crimes. I urge the Government of Myanmar to engage in a process that will ensure real accountability for these terrible crimes.”
During an October 24 Senate Foreign Relations hearing titled, “Assessing U.S. Policy Towards Burma: Geopolitical, Economic and Humanitarian Considerations”, Senator Markey urged the Trump administration to use existing authorities to hold those responsible to account, including adding Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. “Full responsibility and accountability for genocide will lie squarely with the Myanmar military. Even if perpetrators at lower levels are unknown, Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is responsible for these systematic crimes,” continued Senator Markey.
Senator Markey worked with Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) during consideration of the Nation Defense Authorization Act to ensure that Burma is not rewarded with expanded military cooperation while its military engages in systematic attacks against Rohingya civilians.