Doers of crimes against Rohingyas must face justice: US

Doers of crimes against Rohingyas must face justice: US

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Dhaka, Sept 26 – Chairman of US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ed Royce said military leaders and security forces responsible for atrocities against Rohingyas must face justice. “The US must push civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to rise to this challenge,” he said in a hearing on ‘Genocide against the Burmese Rohingya’ held on Wednesday in Washington.
Ed Royce said confronting genocide of the Rohingya is a moral issue and a national security issue. “No one is more secure when fanaticism and unchecked violence are growing in this part of the world. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on these issues today.”
He said the protection of human rights has long been US’ top priority in Myanmar – dating back to freeing Aung San Suu Kyi – and today, that must include the Rohingya.
“The Burmese government and its military must ensure the protection of all the people of
Burma, regardless of their ethnic background or religious beliefs,” he said in his statement.
For more than three decades, the government of Myanmar has systematically denied the
Rohingya people even the most basic of human rights, Ed Royce said.
Last year, he said, this persecution reached new, horrific levels, as the Burmese military drove 700,000 Rohingya from their homes, burning villages and killing scores during so-called ‘terrorist clearance operations’.
“But I encourage the administration to go further – this is more than just a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing.’ To all who have met Rohingya refugees, who have heard these accounts, it’s clear that these crimes amount to genocide,” he said.
Ed Royce said making a formal determination of genocide must be the next step for the US defining these atrocities for what they are is critical to building international public awareness – and support – to stop them.
Greta Van Susteren, one of the participants in the hearing said, “I firmly believe this is a pivotal moment for the United States and for being on the right side of history. When we say, “never again,” we must mean it.”
International Crisis Group US Programme Director Stephen Pomper said they will never again have the opportunity, unfortunately, to prevent the atrocities of summer 2017.
“Through the right balance of pressure and engagement, however, the United States now has an opportunity to try to prevent them from happening again, while providing some measure of justice to the victims,” Pomper said.
Chairman Royce said evidence of Myanmar’s genocide against the Rohingya continues to grow.
He said the US administration has tools at hand to hold Myanmar officials accountable. “This hearing is an opportunity for members to examine the latest developments in this crisis and review the action that’s needed to help stop the violence.”

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