The United States officially declared on Monday that violence against the Rohingya committed by Myanmar’s military amounted to genocide, saying there was clear evidence of an attempt to “destroy” the Muslim minority.
Citing the killings of thousands and forcing close to a million to flee the country in 2016 and 2017, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had “determined that members of the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya.”
“The military’s intent went beyond ethnic cleansing to the actual destruction of Rohingya,” Mr. Blinken said at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The attack against Rohingya was widespread and systematic, which is crucial for reaching a determination of crimes against humanity.”
Around 8,50,000 Rohingya are languishing in camps in Bangladesh, recounting mass killings and rape, while another 6,00,000 members remain in Myanmar’s Rakhine state where they report widespread oppression.
The move was cautiously welcomed by activists and members of the beleaguered community.