The United States has welcomed the inclusive path forward envisioned by the National Unity Government (NUG) and other pro-democracy groups in Myanmar and their pledge to reform the 1982 citizenship law.
Further welcoming the NUG pledges of other actions intended to protect the rights of Rohingya and members of other ethnic minority groups, Spokesperson of the US Department of State Ned Price in a statement said, “These steps will be necessary to safeguard the human rights and human dignity of all people in Burma, including Rohingya.”
Four years ago, Myanmar’s military launched a horrific ethnic cleansing against Rohingya in northern Rakhine State.
“The brutality of the military’s atrocities on that day shocked the conscience of the international community – but we recognise the Rohingya had already suffered decades of grave human rights abuses, and that many of those abuses continue today,” the statement said.
It said the US will continue to promote justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for atrocities and other human rights abuses.
“To that end, we have imposed visa restrictions and financial sanctions on top military leaders and units, including those linked to serious human rights abuse against Rohingya, and suppression of peaceful protests since the February 1 coup.”
The US said they have also supported the UN fact finding and investigative mechanisms focused on Burma; and pressed Burma to implement the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures order.
The US recognised the need to address the root causes of this violence and hold perpetrators accountable to help prevent such atrocities from recurring.
Today, the same military leaders who perpetrated the February 1 coup are committing abuses against pro-democracy activists and members of ethnic and religious communities across the country.
“We have seen the same light infantry brigades that terrorised Rohingya communities in 2017 inflict brutal violence on pro-democracy protestors since the coup,” Ned Price said.
The coup and the brutality of the military’s subsequent crackdown have exacerbated the already precarious situation for vulnerable people across Burma, including Rohingya.
The United States continues to underscore the need for unhindered humanitarian access to all people requiring assistance in Myanmar, the Spokesperson said.
At the launch of the 2021 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in May, the United States announced nearly $155 million in new assistance to sustain critical efforts to support Rohingya refugees and members of the host communities in Bangladesh and internally displaced Rohingya and other affected people in Myanmar.
The US said its assistance will help meet the immediate needs of nearly 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh, including women and children.
“This new funding, which includes life-saving COVID assistance, brought our total humanitarian aid for those affected by the crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region, to more than $1.3 billion – including more than $1.1 billion in Bangladesh and more than $238 million in Burma – since August 2017.”
“We encourage other members of the international community to likewise support peace building and social cohesion work in Rakhine State, and to contribute to the Joint Response Plan,” reads the statement.