Washington, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement marking two years since the Burmese military began a series of mass atrocities against the Rohingya population:
“Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the initiation of mass atrocities by the Burmese military against the Rohingya. The perpetration of murder and rape, and the destruction of entire villages, in addition to other atrocities, led to over 700,000 Rohingya fleeing their home country to neighboring Bangladesh as refugees. I thank the government of Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting this large refugee population. I urge the Burmese government to ensure proper conditions for the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of Rohingya, including the granting of full citizenship and all attendant rights.
“A recent report from the United Nations details a number of shocking cases of mass sexual and gender-based violence by the Burmese military, showing that the journey towards accountability is far from over. These crimes are horrific and inexcusable, and those responsible must be held accountable.”