Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mar 21 (EFE).- The United States Monday formally labelled Myanmar’s military oppression of the Rohingya minority community a genocide and crime against humanity, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“Beyond the Holocaust, the United States has concluded that genocide was committed seven times.
“Today marks the eighth, because I’ve determined that members of the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya,” Blinken said.
In 2017, Myanmar’s armed forces launched a military operation that killed over 9,000 Rohingyas and forced more than 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
Myanmar’s junta denies having committed genocide and claims it was leading an operation against terrorists.
Blinken warned that many of the military leaders who led the genocide are the same who overthrew the democratically elected government in February 2021 in a coup d’etat.
Representatives of the Rohingya refugee community that fled to Bangladesh welcomed Washington’s decision.
“It is really good news and a great step by the United States. We really appreciate the US,” executive director of Rohingya Youth Association (RYA), Khin Maung, said.
The Rohingya community hopes that the move will have consequences for the military junta and allow the refugees to return to their country.
“The US should put pressure on Myanmar to start the repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh in this movement. It’s part of genocide prevention,” Maung urged.
Ali Jinnah, communications director at RYA, echoed that sentiment.
“This moment is a proud moment for innocent Rohingya. The Rohingya Genocide announcement makes history for Rohingya people. The world must recognize it and can’t ignore it in future,” he said. EFE