STATEMENT ON ROHINGYA REFUGEES FLEEING BURMA TO BANGLADESH
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, SEPTEMBER 8, 2017
We are deeply concerned by the troubling situation in Burma’s northern Rakhine State. There has been significant displacement of local populations following serious allegations of human rights abuses, including mass burnings of Rohingya villages and violence conducted by security forces and armed civilians. We again condemn deadly attacks on Burmese security forces, but join the international community in calling on those forces to prevent further violence and protect local populations in ways that are consistent with the rule of law and with full respect for human rights.
We urge all in Burma, including in Rakhine State, to avoid actions that exacerbate tensions. We welcome the Government of Burma’s acknowledgement of the need to protect all communities and its pledge to implement recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, aimed at addressing longstanding challenges that predate the country’s democratic transition. We call on authorities to facilitate immediate access to affected communities in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The United States is working through the United Nations and other international organizations to assist tens of thousands of civilians who have fled to southeastern Bangladesh since August 25. We are also communicating with Burma’s neighbors and other concerned international partners on efforts to end the violence and assist the affected communities.