WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Wednesday amidst escalating violence in Rakhine, Burma:
“I remain deeply concerned by escalating violence against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state. New reports of horrific crimes, including rape, indiscriminate killings, and the burning of entire villages by the Burmese military are alarming The sheer brutality of the violence is evidenced by the more than 120,000 Rohingya that have fled to Bangladesh in the last 10 days. I join the international community in applauding Bangladesh for their efforts on behalf of the Rohingya, and I urge them to keep their borders open and to treat the refugees humanely.
“While the acts of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army are likewise indefensible, the humanitarian and human rights situation in Rahkine state is extremely tenuous—with thousands of innocent men, women and children displaced with virtually no access to humanitarian assistance. I urge the government of Burma, and its de facto leader Aung San Su Kyi, to ensure immediate and unfettered humanitarian access to these communities. Furthermore, I call upon Aung San Su Kyi and the Burmese government to allow the United Nations access to affected areas, to return to its commitment to protecting the human rights of all those who live in Burma, and to hold accountable those in the Burmese military who are responsible for these heinous atrocities.”