Rohingya crisis may 'destabilize' South Asia: US lawmakers

ANI | Updated: Oct 07, 2017 19:08 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A], Oct.7 (ANI):The United States has expressed concern over the crackdown by the Myanmar government that has caused an exodus of half-a-million Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh, saying this could attract international terrorists and destabilize the region.

"Security forces were to blame for a disproportionate response to Rohingya insurgent attacks six weeks ago. He equivocated on whether it amounted to ethnic cleansing, preferring instead to describe the situation as a "human tragedy," global media reports quoted Patrick Murphy, a senior U.S. official for Southeast Asia, as saying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

U.S. lawmakers condemned the Myanmar government and called for sanctions to be imposed on Myanmar and called for "full access" by journalists and aid workers to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state.

"We identify this as full-fledged ethnic cleansing," said Republican Ed Royce, the Republican committee chairman.

Republican Eliot Engel, the committee's top-ranking Democrat, said the U.S. should consider sanctions on Myanmar's military leadership.

Referring to the plight of Rohingyas, Representative Ed Royce, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "Because as long as that presence is there, it's a check to these kinds of atrocities."

The Trump administration has promised USD32 million in assistance - USD 28 million of which will go to Bangladesh, where roughly half-a-million Rohingyas are presently based.

Murphy said the administration is "exploring all options available to us to effect change."

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that her NLD government is doing its best to protect everyone in the Rakhine state. (ANI)