Rex Tillerson Tells Myanmar Leaders to Investigate Attacks on Rohingya


“The key test of any democracy is how it treats its most vulnerable and marginalized populations,” Mr. Tillerson stated in Naypyidaw, the capital. “It is the responsibility of the government and the security forces to protect and respect the human rights of all persons within its borders and to hold accountable those who fail to do so.”

But Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has defended Myanmar’s safety forces, saying that there must be an investigation into what induced the Rohingya disaster. “We want to find out why this exodus is happening,” she stated in a speech in September.

Given the widespread testimony from Rohingya refugees about what led them to flee, critics have accused the Nobel laureate of disingenuousness.

At the information convention on Wednesday, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi defended her statements, saying, “I don’t know why people say I’ve been silent” in regards to the Rohingya, and suggesting that maybe what she has stated was not “interesting enough” or “incendiary.” She thanked Mr. Tillerson for having “an open mind.”

“An open mind is something very rare these days,” she added.

Last month, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi — who as a civilian chief has no authority over Myanmar’s highly effective navy, which dominated for almost half a century — arrange yet one more fee devoted to the Rohingya emergency. There at the moment are at the least 5 such panels, and Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi presides over most of them.

Yet members of her authorities admit they haven’t despatched any investigators to Bangladesh to hearken to the Rohingya’s accounts. Human rights teams worry that, at a minimal, a whole bunch of Rohingya civilians have been killed. But with worldwide investigators prevented from freely accessing northern Rakhine, proof is scarce.

Myanmar’s minister for social welfare, Dr. Win Myat Aye, who’s concerned in 4 of the federal government’s Rohingya commissions, stated on Wednesday that he was cautious of accusing the navy of any atrocities.


Mr. Tillerson, left, with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, on Tuesday in Manila at a summit badembly of Southeast Asian nations. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has defended Myanmar’s safety forces in opposition to accusations of atrocities.

Department of State, by way of European Pressphoto Agency

“We always used to hear that the military was violating human rights,” stated the veteran member of the National League for Democracy, whose leaders have been jailed and persecuted by the navy for many years earlier than they entered a power-sharing authorities with the military final yr. “But we don’t know if these allegations in Rakhine are true or not because I haven’t seen it myself and it’s beyond my capacity.”

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On Monday, the Myanmar navy launched the outcomes of a monthlong inner investigation that cleared the military of any abuses in opposition to Rohingya civilians. Instead, the Tatmadaw, because the Myanmar armed forces are recognized, blamed Rohingya “terrorists” for violence in Rakhine.

The newest navy operation, like an earlier marketing campaign final yr, started after Rohingya insurgents attacked safety outposts in Rakhine, killing Myanmar forces.

The Tatmadaw’s inner report maintained that troopers had not focused any fleeing ladies or kids, a declare disputed by refugees now sheltering in Bangladesh. The inquiry additionally stated that when capturing suspected insurgents, Myanmar forces made positive to solely intention beneath their knees.

Efforts by the United Nations to scrutinize that first wave of violence final yr have been foiled by the Myanmar authorities, who’ve denied United Nations investigators visas to enter the nation.

With lots of the Rohingya nonetheless making the perilous journey to Bangladesh, rights teams worry that there’ll quickly be barely any left in Myanmar, aside from the 120,000 who’ve been compelled into internment camps in central Rakhine.

On Monday, the spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain stated that the marketing campaign in opposition to the Rohingya had been “created by the Burmese military and it looks like ethnic cleansing.”

On Wednesday, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, along with Fortify Rights, a human rights watchdog, launched a report with allegations of “mounting evidence” of genocide in opposition to the Rohingya.

Members of Congress have proposed imposing sanctions on these in Myanmar who’ve orchestrated the navy campaign in opposition to the Rohingya. Earlier sanctions have been lifted because the military-dominated regime started transferring some energy to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s occasion.

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On Monday, leaders who had gathered for an Asia-Pacific summit badembly in Manila, together with President Trump, declined to difficulty a forceful condemnation of Myanmar for its therapy of the Rohingya.

Human-rights teams have urged Myanmar to finish many years of systematic persecution of the Rohingya and to offer them citizenship. Although members of the Muslim minority have lived in Rakhine for generations, the official stance in Naypyidaw is that they’re unlawful immigrants from Bangladesh.

Last month, the United Nations, which has been accused by Myanmar officers of supporting Rohingya militants, was instructed that it will be allowed to renew humanitarian help to determined and hungry communities trapped in northern Rakhine. But solely a trickle of help has been allowed in thus far.

Meanwhile, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s varied Rohingya commissions are persevering with their work.

“We are trying our best to find a solution,” stated Dr. Win Myat Aye, the social affairs minister. “But so far, there is still no way to solve the problem.”

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