- The Washington Times - Monday, September 11, 2017

The White House on Monday condemned violence in Burma that since Aug. 25 has forced about more than a quarter-million Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority, to flee the country.

“The United States is deeply troubled by the ongoing crisis in northern Rakhine State in Burma, where at least 300,000 people have fled their homes in the wake of attacks on Burmese security posts on August 25.,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

“We reiterate our condemnation of those attacks and ensuing violence,” she said.

The Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have resisted taking action, despite reports of brutal attacks, including accounts of babies being beheaded and people burned alive.

An estimated 300,000 people have fled across the border into Bangladesh after a crackdown by Burmese security forces in response to an attack on a military outpost by Rohingya militants.

The U.S. has been seeking closer relations with the democratically-elected government of Burma, also known as Myanmar.

The White House issued the statement ahead of Mr. Trump’s meeting Tuesday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, a close neighbor of Burma.

“The massive displacement and victimization of people, including large numbers of the ethnic Rohingya community and other minorities, shows that Burmese security forces are not protecting civilians,” said Mrs. Sanders. “We are alarmed by the allegations of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, burning of villages, massacres, and rape, by security forces and by civilians acting with these forces’ consent.”

The White House called on Burmese security authorities to respect the rule of law, stop the violence and end the displacement of civilians from all communities.

“We welcome the Burmese government’s commitment to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches victims as quickly as possible. We urge the government to allow media access to the afflicted areas as soon as possible,” said the statement. “Most of those displaced by the violence have fled into neighboring Bangladesh and we greatly appreciate the significant efforts of the government of Bangladesh to facilitate humanitarian assistance.”

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