US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke to the Myanmar Armed Forces’ Commander-in-Chief General Min Aung Hlaing expressing his concern about the humanitarian crisis the Rohingya Muslim minority is currently facing.
In a telephone call late Thursday, Tillerson “urged Myanmar’s security forces to support the government in ending the violence in Rakhine state and allowing the safe return of those displaced during this crisis, especially the large numbers of ethnic Rohingya”, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Tillerson also urged them to “cooperate with the United Nations to ensure a thorough, independent investigation into all allegations of human rights abuses and violations and to ensure accountability”, Efe news quoted the statement as saying
Over 600,000 members of the Rohingya minority, not recognised as citizens in Myanmar, have fled from their country to Bangladesh since August.
The crisis escalated on August 25, after an insurgent faction of the Rohingya launched a coordinated attack against police and military posts in Rakhine, to which the Myanmar Army responded with a continuing crackdown.
Tillerson also condemned that attack during his call with Min Aung Hlaing.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has described the response as “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya minority.
Earlier this week, the State Department announced that it was considering sanctions against Myanmar, especially its military apparatus, for human rights violations in this humanitarian crisis.