Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, plans to announce the long-awaited designation Monday at an event in the U.S. According to officials speaking on condition of anonymity, the Holocaust Memorial Museum was officially named by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The move has not been made public.
This designation does not imply any new or drastic measures against Myanmar’s military-led regime. The country has been subject to multiple layers of U.S. sanction since the campaign against Rohingya began in Myanmar’s western Rakhine in 2017.
It could also increase international pressure on the government , who is already under investigation for genocide at The Hague’s International Court of Justice. Legislators and human rights groups have been pressing the Trump and Biden administrations for this designation.
The anticipated step was welcomed by Refugees International and at least one member of Congress, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon.
“I applaude the Biden administration that finally recognizes the atrocities against the Rohingya genocide,” he stated in a statement. This was immediately released after the State Department announced Monday that Blinken would give remarks on Myanmar at The Holocaust Museum and then tour the exhibit “Burma’s Path to Genocide.” Myanmar, also known as Burma, was announced by the State Department.
Merkley stated that while this decision is overdue, it was a strong and crucial step in holding the brutal regime accountable. These processes must be conducted objectively, consistently, without regard to geopolitical considerations.
Refugees International, a humanitarian organization, also praised the initiative. The group released a statement saying that the U.S. genocide Declaration was a positive and meaningful step. It is also a strong sign of commitment towards justice for all those who continue to suffer abuses by military junta even today.
Merkley urged the administration to keep up the pressure on Myanmar, imposing more sanctions to the government that would include the oil and gas sectors. He said that America must be the leader in the world and make it clear that atrocities such as these cannot be ignored, regardless of where they happen.
Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camp in Bangladesh. This was after the Myanmar military launched an operation to clear the area in response to rebel attacks. Myanmar security forces are accused of mass rapes and killings as well as the burning of thousands homes.