The U.S. Sanctions Myanmar Over the Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya (in Photos) - Pacific Standard

The U.S. Sanctions Myanmar Over the Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya (in Photos)

The new sanctions are the toughest U.S. action so far in response to Myanmar's ongoing human rights abuses.
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The United States imposed new sanctions on members of the Myanmar military Friday for their role in the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. The announcement marks the toughest U.S. action so far in response to the country's ongoing human rights abuses, which have left thousands dead and forced many more into refugee camps in Bangladesh.

The Trump administration's sanctions do not reach the military's highest levels, nor did officials label the abuses a genocide, Reuters reports. Instead, Sigal Mandelker, the Department of the Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the U.S. will hold military leaders accountable for "horrific behavior," including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual assault, extrajudicial killings, and other human rights abuses.

In 2017, Myanmar's security forces led a massacre against the Rohingya minority, forcing more than 700,000 people into neighboring Bangladesh, where they live in unsanitary, overcrowded camps, according to Al Jazeera. A Bangladeshi official told Al Jazeera that the country does not intend to assimilate Rohingya, but many refugees say they would rather die in the camps than return to Myanmar. In the meantime, they live in limbo.

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A Rohingya refugee plays with his daughter by the entrance of their tent at the Kutupalong camp in Ukhia, near the city of Cox's Bazar, on August 13th, 2018. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar's Rakhine state last year to escape a violent military crackdown.

A Rohingya refugee plays with his daughter by the entrance of their tent at the Kutupalong camp in Ukhia, near the city of Cox's Bazar, on August 13th, 2018. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar's Rakhine state last year to escape a violent military crackdown.

A Rohingya refugee jumps a puddle at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 14th, 2018. The United Nations has described the army purge against the persecuted minority as ethnic cleansing, and thousands of Rohingya Muslims were believed to have been slaughtered in the pogrom that began last August.

A Rohingya refugee jumps a puddle at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 14th, 2018. The United Nations has described the army purge against the persecuted minority as ethnic cleansing, and thousands of Rohingya Muslims were believed to have been slaughtered in the pogrom that began last August.

Rohingya refugee Toyoba, 40, makes a fishing net inside her tent in Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 14th, 2018.

Rohingya refugee Toyoba, 40, makes a fishing net inside her tent in Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 14th, 2018.

A Rohingya refugee man smokes inside a local food joint in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 14th, 2018.

A Rohingya refugee man smokes inside a local food joint in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on August 14th, 2018.

A Rohingya refugee man stands atop of a tent in Kutupalong camp in Ukhia on August 12th, 2018.

A Rohingya refugee man stands atop of a tent in Kutupalong camp in Ukhia on August 12th, 2018.

Rohingya refugee boy Kamal Sadiq, 14, holds his cousin, Ruma Sadiq, inside his home at the Kutupalong camp in Ukhia on August 13th, 2018.

Rohingya refugee boy Kamal Sadiq, 14, holds his cousin, Ruma Sadiq, inside his home at the Kutupalong camp in Ukhia on August 13th, 2018.

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