Biden administration formally recognizes military genocide in Myanmar

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will publicly announce the resolve that human rights groups have championed for years at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on Monday.

Reuters announced the administration’s recognition of the genocide for the first time.

So far, the US has refrained from declaring atrocities, including massacres and rapes committed in 2017 against the Rohingya Muslim minority, as genocide. The violence forced nearly a million people to flee, and the United Nations recommended that top military officials be charged with genocide.

“I salute the Biden administration for finally recognizing the atrocities committed against the Rohingya as genocide. While this definition is long overdue, it is nonetheless a powerful and critical step in holding this brutal regime to account,” said Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. This is stated in a statement released on Sunday by a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

America, the Oregon Democrat said, “should lead the world to make it clear that such atrocities never go unnoticed, wherever they occur.”

A U.S. State Department report covertly released in 2018 stated that anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state was “extreme, large-scale, widespread and appears to be aimed at both intimidating the population and expelling Rohingya residents” .

The State Department has sanctioned a number of Myanmar military officials, including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, for their role in these human rights abuses.

This story was updated with comments by Senator Jeff Merkley.

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