Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., strongly condemned the Burmese/Myanmar government once again during a National Security Counsel meeting on Tuesday. She said that, “The world is watching and waiting for Burma to act. What we have seen so far is cruel and barbaric.” The U.N. has been consistently denied access to Burma, as they have been attempting to conduct an in-depth investigation to verify the flood of stories coming out of Rakhine State, Burma. Since the violence has begun, more than 690,000 refugees have fled to Bangladesh.
Haley also condemned the inaction of Aung San Suu Kyi, saying that she needs to “acknowledge these horrific acts that are taking place in her country.” Suu Kyi’s silence on the subject has drawn significant amounts of criticism worldwide.
Recently, two Reuters journalists were working on a story outlining one particular massacre and mass grave. They were soon arrested and charged under the “Official Secrets Act,” and are facing over a decade of hard labor. Haley called for their “immediate and unconditional release.”
She also referred to a report conducted by the Associated Press, when they traveled to the large refugee camps on the border of Bangladesh and Burma.
The news reports from Burma have long been brutal and heartbreaking because of the lack of access granted by the Burmese government, few reports get out. But those that do are simply horrifying. The Associated Press recently told the story of ‘Kadir,’ a Rohingya man from the village Gu Dar Pyin. Kadir and 14 of his friends were choosing sides for a game of a traditional Burmese sport, when the Burmese military began shooting. Survivors reported that more than 200 soldiers descended on the village, burning homes and shooting anyone who couldn’t get away. Kadir got away, but only he and two friends survived the shooting. When he returned to the village six days later, Kadir found his teammates partially buried in mass graves. In all, there were reportedly five mass graves. The Burmese government regularly denies the existence of massacres and mass graves and claims to be fighting terrorists. But what Kadir found that day, indicated that the military knew what the military was doing was wrong, and didn’t want the world to know.”
She called these continuous denials by the Burmese government “preposterous.”
This is not the first condemnation the U.S. has made on the topic. In late September, 2017, Haley said that:
Four over four weeks the world has endured images from Burma we should never have to see. Much more more importantly, we have seen images of acts no person should ever have to endure. We have seen terrified women and children fleeing their homes with only the clothes on their back. We’ve watched people drown trying to cross rivers to safety. We’ve seen bodies floating down rivers and villages burned to the ground. We have heard reports of men women and children rounded up, detained and some brutally killed. We saw the haunting image of a young mother and father cradling the body of their infant son — a baby who died fleeing the violence in Rakhine State.”
She went on to describe the U.S.’s attempts to “engage the Burmese military at the highest levels,” but that “the government refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation” as Rohingya people continue to flee toward Bangladesh for their lives.
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.