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Pompeo: US will keep helping Bangladesh

  • Published at 03:16 pm May 25th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:00 am May 26th, 2018
Rohingya crisis 2017
File Photo: Rohingya refugees gathering to collect relief at the Balukhali Makeshift Refugee Camp as they are affected by Cyclone Mora in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh May 31, 2017 Reuters

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had pointed out that Bangladesh was dealing with 700,000 Rohingya refugees 'from this last conflict from August 2017 till now'

The United States will continue to provide assistance to Bangladesh to help the country deal with the Rohingya refugee crisis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told senators on Thursday.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pointed out Bangladesh was dealing with 700,000 Rohingya refugees “from this last conflict from August 2017 till now.”

He said Bangladesh needed a lot of support to help provide services and asked whether the US would continue to be of assistance.

“Yes,” Pompeo told members of the committee.

Senator Merkley also urged Pompeo to make public the report being prepared by the State Department on atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The secretary of state said: “... I think it would be very, very important that we make that public.”

Merkley hoped the US would help an summon international response when the report comes out. 

“Because to fail to do so, is to fail in our moral leadership in the world. And the failure encourages other countries that may have belittled and denigrated a minority to proceed to engage in ethnic cleansing if they don’t see the world respond to this situation.”

The State Department expressed concern over Amnesty International’s report which claimed the Rohingya militant group ARSA had killed around 99 Hindu civilians during attacks in last August. ARSA denies its involvement.

A State Department spokesperson told Bangla Tribune that accountability for all those responsible for human rights abuses and violations in northern Rakhine State remains critical.

“This report further highlights the ongoing urgent need for a credible, independent investigation in Rakhine state to further determine all facts on the ground to aid in these processes of justice and accountability. The United States continues to support such an investigation,” the spokesperson added.

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act 2019, which addresses the issue of alleged ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. 

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