Genocide in Myanmar: Biden government formally finds military committing genocide against Rohingya

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will publicly announce the determination, which human rights groups have advocated for years, Monday at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Reuters reported for the first time on the government’s recognition of genocide.

Until now, the US had not declared atrocities – including mass murders and rapes – committed against the Muslim minority Rohingya population in 2017 as genocide. The violence forced nearly a million people to flee, and the United Nations recommended prosecuting senior military officials for genocide.

“I applaud the Biden administration for finally recognizing the atrocities committed against the Rohingya as genocide. While this determination has been long overdue, it is nevertheless a powerful and vital step to hold this brutal regime to account. Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement Sunday.

America, the Oregon Democrat said, “must lead the world to make it clear that atrocities like this should never go unnoticed, wherever they take place.”

A report released quietly in 2018 by the United States Department of State found that the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state was “extreme, large-scale, widespread and seemingly aimed at both terrorizing the population and displacing the Rohingya Inhabitants”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has imposed sanctions on a number of Myanmar military officials, including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, for their role in perpetrating these human rights violations.

This story has been updated with comments from Senator Jeff Merkley.

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