After months of reticence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday officially referred to the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as "ethnic cleansing." In August, Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in Rakhine, prompting a brutal retaliation from Myanmar's military which reportedly razed villages and indiscriminately attacked civilians. The violence has led to the mass exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingya east to Bangladesh; Myanmar's government has claimed that the Rohingya decided to burn their own villages and then willingly self-deported. Tillerson's decision to refer to the situation as ethnic cleansing could prompt the Trump administration to enforce new sanctions on Myanmar's government.

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