The US government announced that the widespread campaign of rape and murder of families of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma constitutes a genocidewhich could translate into more economic sanctions against the military junta.
The announcement was made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
The official said he was “moved” like every time he visits that place and highlighted the historical context in which the announcement about Burma is made, with Russia‘s bloody campaign in Ukrainian territory.
Taking into account the atrocities that are being reported with increasing frequency in the invasion, it is that the Joe Biden government has decided to move forward on the case of Burma, where it has been determined that the military government committed “torture, rape and murder” against The opponents.
“These abuses were not isolated cases, it was systematic,” Blinken said.
The exhibition titled “Burma’s Path to Genocide” was held by Blinken in the Museum’s Hall of Witnesses.
Five years ago, the Burmese army went on a rampage against the Rohingya ethnic group, expelling almost a million people from the country, an action that has been considered an ethnic cleansing operation.
Anurima Bhargava, commissioner of the Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan task force that makes policy recommendations to the government, told The New York Times that “It is about an acknowledgment of the atrocities that have occurred and the ways in which those atrocities are manifesting even today.”
“Those who committed this genocide are still in power,” added the commissioner.
US government investigators documented the genocide committed in Burma in 2018, but until now had not made this legal designation of the crimes due to delays blamed on an internal debate initiated during the previous administration of President Donald Trump.
The special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Burma, the Cambodian minister Prak Sokhonn, arrived in the country on Monday with the aim of mediating the crisis, although the military have once again denied that he met with the leader. deposed Aung San Suu Kyi.
Prak Sokhonn, on an official visit until Wednesday, does plan to meet with representatives of the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Suu Kyi and who governed until the military coup on February 1, 2021, as indicated to Efe sources of the military junta.
In a statement, the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that The purpose of the trip is to find ways to end the violence in the country, promote dialogue and send humanitarian aid.
The Burmese junta has so far vetoed any possibility of the ASEAN envoy meeting with NLD leader and deposed State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under arrest since the early hours of the military uprising.
Since the coup, Suu Kyi, who was together with the rest of the deputies in the Burmese capital for the inauguration of the new Legislative when the military took power, has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for various causes and still faces a dozen court proceedings.
This will be the first trip of the Cambodian special envoy of ASEAN, a figure agreed in April of last year between the leaders of Southeast Asia and the coup leader, Min Aung Hlaing.
His predecessor, the Bruneian Erywan Yusof, did not get to travel to Burma, demanding to be able to meet with the ousted government as well.
For his part, the Cambodian minister did not establish conditions or demands to the Burmese military junta for the trip, a decision criticized by some governments in the region.
According to Phnom Penh, The talks during this trip will revolve around the five points of consensus established by the political leaders of the bloc and the Burmese coup leader, among which is “the immediate cessation of violence” against civilians and a “constructive dialogue” in which all parties participate.
Despite the agreement, ASEAN considers that since then the Burmese board has taken “insufficient” steps towards the implementation of the agreement and has even vetoed Min Aung Hlaing’s participation in the meetings of the bloc’s leaders.
(with information from EFE)
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