Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson
Three years after Burma’s security forces launched brutal attacks against hundreds of thousands of Rohingya men, women, and children, the United States reiterates its call for justice for victims and accountability for those responsible. In addition, in the face of escalating fighting in Rakhine State, we urge a cessation of violence, dialogue, renewed efforts to protect local communities, and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance. The United States remains concerned over the killing of members of local communities and displacement of thousands, which undermines prospects for the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons and erodes prospects for peace.
We urge authorities in Burma to establish conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and to deepen efforts to implement recommendations from the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. Since 2017, the United States has provided more than $951 million to ease the humanitarian suffering of all affected by the crisis in Burma and Bangladesh. We deeply appreciate Bangladesh’s continued generosity in hosting more than 860,000 Rohingya. We call on other nations to ensure continued humanitarian support to Rohingya and to deepen efforts to resolve the crisis.
The United States has taken strong actions to promote justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for atrocities. Those actions include imposing financial sanctions and visa restrictions on top military leaders and units linked to serious human rights abuses, supporting UN investigation mechanisms, and encouraging Burma to participate fully in International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceedings and to comply with court orders. We appreciate the sustained commitment of the international community to hold the perpetrators of these atrocities to account. Much more remains to be done.
The United States will continue to partner with the people of Burma as they work to overcome the legacy of authoritarian rule, expand democracy, and achieve peace.