US rules Myanmar military committed genocide against Rohingya

A boat carrying ethnic-Rohingya off North Aceh in June 2020. (AP pic)


WASHINGTON: The US has determined that the violence committed by the military in Myanmar against the Rohingya minority amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity, a US official told AFP Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since 2017 after a military crackdown that is now the subject of a genocide case at the UN’s highest court in The Hague.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is due to officially announce the determination in remarks during a visit on Monday to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, where an exhibit titled “Burma’s Path to Genocide” — using a former name for the country — is on display.

Blinken said in December last year during a visit to Malaysia that the US was looking “very actively” at whether the treatment of the Rohingya might “constitute genocide”.

Around 850,000 Rohingya are languishing in camps in neighbouring Bangladesh while another 600,000 members of the community remain in Myanmar’s southwestern Rakhine state.

The case opened against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice in 2019 has been complicated by a military coup last year that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and her civilian government, triggering mass protests and a bloody crackdown.

The Nobel peace laureate, who faced criticism from rights groups for her involvement in the Rohingya case, is now under house arrest and on trial by the same generals she defended at The Hague.