State Dept: Myanmar’s Crackdown On Rohingya Muslims May Invite Terrorists

Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over recently from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stand in a queue to receive food being distributed near Balukhali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. More than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the past year, most of them in the last three weeks, after security forces and allied mobs retaliated  to a series of attacks by Muslim militants last month by burning down thousands of Rohingya homes in the predominantly Buddhist nation. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bernat Armangue/AP
Views

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says Myanmar’s crackdown that has caused an exodus of a half-million Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh could destabilize the region and invite international terrorists.

Patrick Murphy, a senior U.S. official for Southeast Asia, says the U.S. has urged Myanmar’s civilian and military officials to take action to stop the violence.

He told a congressional hearing Thursday that despite government assurances that security operations halted Sept. 5, vigilantes are still reportedly committing arson attacks on Rohingya homes and blocking humanitarian assistance.

Rep. Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described it as ethnic cleansing and urged the administration to press harder for humanitarian access.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the committee’s top-ranking Democrat, said the U.S. should consider imposing targeted sanctions on Myanmar’s military.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK