US Congressmen push to declare atrocities on Rohingyas ‘genocide’ Rohingya refugee crisis

In this Reuters file photo taken on September 11, 2017, smoke is seen on the Myanmar border as Rohingya refugees walk on the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh.

US Congressman Steve Chabot, Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel on Thursaday introduced a bipartisan measure to declare “the Burmese military’s atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority genocide.”

This is a straightforward resolution to put the US Congress on record. As Chairman Royce said earlier this week, “confronting genocide of the Rohyinga is a moral issue. And a national security issue.”

The evidence supporting such a declaration is overwhelming. Earlier this week, the US State Department released a report detailing stomach-turning, systematic and widespread acts of violence against the Rohingya in Northern Rakhine State.

And on Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee convened a hearing examining the administration’s response to the crisis, and efforts by US-backed broadcasters to raise awareness about the atrocities.

More than 900,000 Rohingya, an ethnic and religious Muslim minority in Myanmar, live in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, the vast majority in camps, according to UNICEF.

About 700,000 of them arrived in the four months after deadly attacks by Rohingya insurgents on Myanmar security forces in August 2017, which were followed by military operations that the United Nations and rights groups said targeted civilians.

Myanmar has denied most of the allegations.