US concludes violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya was genocide: report
The Biden administration will formally declare that the Myanmar military’s violence against the Rohingya minority constituted a genocide and crimes against humanity.
U.S. officials told Reuters that the decision will be announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
“It’s going to make it harder for them to commit further abuses,” a senior State Department official told the outlet.
Blinken is also set to announce $1 million in funding for the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), a U.N. body gathering evidence for possible prosecutions, Reuters reported.
The recognition is mostly related to events that took place in 2017 ahead of the military junta’s takeover of the country.
In 2017, Myanmar’s military launched an operation that forced at least 730,000 of the mainly Muslim Rohingya to leave their homes and flee to Bangladesh. Médecins Sans Frontières estimates that some 6,700 Rohingya were killed in Myanmar between August and September of that year, including hundreds of children.
In 2021, just days into President Biden’s tenure in office, Myanmar’s military junta seized control of the country.
Though former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously declined to make a determination about the actions against the Rohingya minority, Blinken ordered a “legal and factual analysis,” which found that the Myanmar army committed genocide, Reuters added.
“It’s really signaling to the world and especially to victims and survivors within the Rohingya community and more broadly that the United States recognizes the gravity of what’s happening,” another senior State Department official told the outlet.