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Faith Coalition Calls on Pompeo to Declare Rohingya Atrocities a Genocide

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Wikimedia Commons)

Faith Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma, today urges Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration to declare the Rohingya crisis a genocide. Secretary Pompeo is currently reviewing a report on the atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities at the hands of the Burmese government which became more violent a year ago in Aug. 2017.

For years, the Rohingya Muslims have suffered torture, rape and murder at the hands of the Burmese government. The Burmese government refused to allow the United Nations in the Rakhine State to analyze the treatment of the Rohingyas.

They turned their violence against other ethnic minorities targeting Kachin Christians in Northern Burma, burning and bombing their churches and destroying their livelihoods. The U.S. State department has just concluded a report on the atrocities by the Burmese government.

A formal genocide declaration requires both an intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group and one of the following: a) killing members of the group; b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group or e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

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"For six years, we have been working tirelessly for this moment," says Imam Malik Mujahid, chair of the Faith Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma. "We sincerely appreciate the efforts of the State Department to shed the light of truth on this horrific tragedy through its independently commissioned study, and its general concern for the well-being of the minority faith communities of Burma.

"Secretary Pompeo in particular has shown superb leadership on the issue. But the time for talking is over, and the time to act is now. We have confidence that Secretary Pompeo and President Trump will do the right thing for Burma, for America, and for the world by drawing a line in the sand to officially declare the actions of the Burma military to be genocide and to reimpose full sanctions excluding food and medicine."

In the lead up to former Secretary of State Colin Powell's genocide designation of the Darfur tragedies in Sept. 2004, Secretary Powell's team provided the secretary with its findings and analysis of the situation and asked him for his reaction. After reviewing the analysis, Secretary Powell asked his advisers how the current situation was not genocide.

The same is true in Burma—how is this not genocide?

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