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U.S.: Violence against Rohingya is ethnic cleansing

Staff Writer |
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that violence against the Muslim Rohingya population in Myanmar qualifies as ethnic cleansing.

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In a statement, Tillerson said the United States condemned the "horrendous atrocities" against the Rohingya people beginning on August 25.

"These abuses by some among the Burmese military, security forces, and local vigilantes have caused tremendous suffering and forced hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to flee their homes in Burma to seek refuge in Bangladesh," Tillerson said.

"It is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya."

In the last year, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh to escape violence in the Rakhine State. The violence has reportedly included government security forces raping and killing members of the minority group.

The secretary of state said the United States would continue to support independent investigations into the claims of humanitarian violations.

"The United States will also pursue accountability through U.S. law, including possible targeted sanctions," Tillerson said.

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