US withdraws military assistance from Myanmar

State Department says assistance dropped over persecution of Rohingya Muslim minority.

Gary Willig,

Rohingya refugees walk through Palong Khali refugee camp at sunris
Rohingya refugees walk through Palong Khali refugee camp at sunris
Reuters

The US has withdrawn its military assistance to Myanmar in response to the country's persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority, the BBC reported.

The US State Department also stated that it had dropped Myanmar from the US visa waiver program, and was considering imposing sanctions on the Buddhist state in response to the humanitarian crisis there.

Ongoing military operations in the Rakhine state have resulted in hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to surrounding nations. Nearly one million refugees have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, according to Bangladesh's UN envoy, Shameem Ahsan, who called the situation "untenable."

Myanmar's military maintains that it is only targeting Islamist terrorists and not civilians. The operations began after militants murdered 12 security personnel in Rakhine state on August 25.

"It is imperative that any individuals or entities responsible for atrocities be held accountable," the State Department said.

"We express our gravest concern with recent events in Myanmar's Rakhine state and the violent, traumatic abuses Rohingya and other communities have endured.

The UN has called the military operations in Rakhine state "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."








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