US acknowledges Bangladesh's difficulty in absorbing Rohingyas
Published : 09 Sep 2017, 11:34:54
The United States has said the surge of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims exposed Bangladesh to a "difficult situation" saying it was hard for any country to absorb the huge number of refugees.
"I know it is a difficult situation for Bangladesh, as it is for any country, to absorb refugees," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a regular press briefing in Washington on Thursday.
The US State Department website, that published the entire proceedings of the press briefing, said quoting Nauret "What we've seen there has been very concerning to the US Government as we care about what is happening to the population there. We care about what is happening to the population there (in Rakhine).
Asked if US might slap a sanction on Myanmar for human rights violations, Nauert declined to comment saying the US was currently having "diplomatic conversations at this point".
"Any potential sanctions are just not something that I could comment on this time. Either - assuming that they might happen, or might not happen," she said.
"We are deeply concerned by the troubling situation in Burma's northern Rakhine State," she said, adding there has been a significant displacement of local populations, following serious allegations of human rights abuses, including mass burnings of Rohingya villages and violence conducted by security forces and also armed civilians.
"We, again, condemn deadly attacks on Burmese security forces, but join the international community in calling on those forces to prevent further violence and protect local populations in ways that are consistent with the rule of law and with full respect for human rights," she said at the briefing.
She said the United States is working through the United Nations and other international organizations to assist tens of thousands of civilians who have fled to southeastern Bangladesh since August 25.
"We call on authorities to facilitate immediate access to affected communities that are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance," the spokesperson said.
"We are also communicating with Burma's neighbors and other concerned international partners on efforts to end the violence and assist affected communities there," she added.
About access of aid workers and journalist inside Rakhaine state, the spokesperson said "We'd like to certainly call on the Government of Burma to allow better, greater access for reporters and journalists to be able to enter that country and be able to provide accurate information about what's going on the ground."
"There also remains a humanitarian situation, where it is very difficult for humanitarian aid groups to be able to get in and provide the supplies and the support that is necessary. We are continuing to have conversations with the government, not only about the violence there, but also about those issues of journalists and also, perhaps more importantly, the humanitarian aid situation," she added.-BSS