Per a statement released earlier today, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the head of the federal government agency the United States Department of State, the United States has officially condemned Myanmar for its known slayings of Rohingya Muslims, a minority in the country, in the form of sanctions against several of the country’s leading military figures.
The two most prominent Burmese military leaders that were banned from entering the United States, among other things, were Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the military of Myanmar, and the Commander-in-Chief’s lead deputy, Moe Win. Two other leaders of Myanmar’s military were also named in the statement from State Secretary Mike Pompeo, Than Oo and Aung Aung, both of whom are Brigadier Generals, a high-ranking position within Myanmar’s government.
It is known, according to Mike Pompeo’s recent disclosures of such information, that Myanmar Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing took several soldiers off the hook for being convicted of the systematic slaying of Muslims in the city of Rohingya, one of he main reasons why the United States has placed sanctions on the military leaders.
The aforementioned Burmese soldiers who were responsible for carrying out the so-called “ethnic cleansing” ultimately only spent a few months in jail, whereas several journalists who were among the first wave of reporters to share with the world about the Muslim killings by the Burmese government “were jailed for more than 500 days,” according to State Secretary Pompeo. This event took place at Inn Din, a city in Myanmar.
Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, two journalists who both work for Reuters, one of the largest news organizations on the planet, were both released from Myanmar jail after spending nearly a year-and-a-half under lock and key on May 6 of this year as part of an amnesty agreement Myanmar submitted itself to.
All considered, some 750,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar in favor of moving to Bangladesh, a bordering country that does not systematically persecute members of the ethnic group. This mass exodus came in 2017, when Burmese military leaders sought out and executed many Rohingya Muslims. According to investigators from the United Nations, Myanmar’s soldiers engaged in gang rape, arson, murder, and other horrendous crimes against the Rohingya Muslim population of Myanmar that was targeted.
The United States government, for the record, has not referred to the ethnic cleansing of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims as genocide, though it has certainly condemned the country’s actions.