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US Mulls Sanctions Over Rohingya Crisis

Rohingya refugee children carry supplies through Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on October 23.Rohingya refugee children carry supplies through Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on October 23.

The United States has announced new restrictions concerning engagement with the Myanmar military over the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State. Washington is also weighing economic measures against those involved in the reported atrocities.

“We express our gravest concern over recent events in Rakhine State and the violent, traumatic abuses Rohingya and other communities have endured. It is imperative that any individuals or entities responsible for atrocities, including non-state actors and vigilantes, be held accountable,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement on Monday, Sputnik reported.

In the statement, she also outlined the measures that Washington is going to take “in pursuit of accountability and an end to violence.”

In particular, the US is withdrawing military assistance programs for Myanmar units and officers “involved in operations in northern Rakhine State.” The measure will add to Washington’s already limited engagement with the Myanmar military and its longstanding embargo on all military sales.

In addition, the State Department said it has ceased its consideration of travel waivers for senior Myanmar military officials and is weighing economic sanctions against individuals “associated with atrocities.”

According to Bloomberg, this statement is one of the first signals that the US could reimpose the sanctions on Myanmar that were lifted last year.

 

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