US considers sanctions on Myanmar over Rohingya

US considers sanctions on Myanmar over Rohingya
Rohingya refugee Khalida, a mother of three children, wades across a canal near the no man’s land area between Bangladesh and Myanmar. (File: AFP)
Updated 24 October 2017

US considers sanctions on Myanmar over Rohingya

US considers sanctions on Myanmar over Rohingya

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Washington has withdrawn invitations to Myanmar military officers to take part in US-sponsored events and is considering targeted sanctions over the treatment of Rohingya refugees.
“We are exploring accountability mechanisms available under US law,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Rakhine state in northern Myanmar since violence erupted on Aug. 25. Since then the US has banned senior Myanmar Army officers from traveling to the US and is considering “economic options available to target individuals associated with atrocities,” Nauert said.
She said the US supported Myanmar’s transition from authoritarian rule to a democratic society, and believed the elected civilian government would pave way for peace and stability, but “we express our gravest concern with recent events in Rakhine state and the violent, traumatic abuses Rohingya and other communities have endured.
“We are working with international partners to urge that Myanmar enables unhindered access to relevant areas for the UN fact-finding mission, international humanitarian organizations, and media.”
The UN received $228 million in aid pledges from donors at an emergency conference in Geneva on Monday, but it still needs more to meet the urgent needs of Rohingya refugees, Hala Jaber of the International Organization for Migration told Arab News.
She said recent donations had brought the the total figure to $344 million.
“Of course, we are still in need of more funds, but we are confident we can continue all our operations,” she said.
The UK tops the donors list, with $63 million. It pledged a further $15.78 million on Tuesday, and Switzerland pledged $8 million.