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MERKLEY, MEEKS JOINT STATEMENT ON ESCALATING VIOLENCE IN BURMA’S RAKHINE STATE, THREATS TO ROHINGYA

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon [United States Senate | Wikimedia Commons]

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley—a member of both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee—and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY-05) issued the following statement in response to ongoing violence in Burma’s Rakhine State that further threatens the Rohingya community:

“We cannot stay silent in the face of the Burmese military and Arakan Army’s targeted, ongoing violence against Burma’s Rohingya and are deeply concerned about reports of arson attacks against Rohingya homes, forcing thousands to flee the western state of Rakhine. The United Nations and international humanitarian organizations are sounding the alarm over reports that the Burmese military is subjecting Rohingya to forced conscription, and Rohingya are once again at risk of violence and displacement. Two years since the State Department’s important determination that the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya, we must act to prevent further suffering—of both Rohingya and other vulnerable peoples in Rakhine.
“We call on the Burmese military and all armed groups in Rakhine State to immediately cease fighting to end the ongoing atrocities. Pro-democracy stakeholders should do all they can to protect civilians, support ethnic reconciliation and peaceful coexistence of communities in Rakhine, and counter the Burmese military’s attempts to sow division among the population. The international community too must come together to support the immediate and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance into Rakhine State.
“The ongoing violence demands American action. We are committed to introducing legislation in Congress to strengthen protections for Rohingya and hold the Burmese military responsible for its atrocities. The U.S. must not be idle in the face of this terror and suffering and do all it can to support the establishment of an inclusive, federal democracy in Burma, where all of its people can enjoy lasting peace and freedom.”
 

© 2024, Jeff Merkley and Gregory W. Meeks

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