Speed Reads

Rohingya Crisis

Trump administration investigates sanctions against Myanmar in response to 'textbook genocide' against the Rohingya

The Trump administration withdrew assistance from Myanmar's military on Tuesday in response to the forces' recorded atrocities against the minority Rohingya population, The Guardian reports. The State Department is also considering additional targeted sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act, "a law that allows the U.S. to freeze assets and impose visa bans on selected individuals," NPR writes.

Since the crisis broke out in August, more than 600,000 refugees have fled Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) into neighboring Bangladesh and hundreds more have been killed by security forces. The United Nations deemed the violence "textbook genocide." The Trump administration has been criticized for its slow reaction to the crisis, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying the U.S. is "extraordinarily concerned," but taking little action so far.

"The Obama administration had a Burma policy, it was reasonably effective," David Steinberg, the former director of Asian studies at Georgetown University, told The Washington Post. "The Trump administration has no policy."

In a statement Tuesday, the State Department explained: "We have rescinded invitations for senior Burmese security forces to attend U.S.-sponsored events; we are working with international partners to urge that Burma enables unhindered access to relevant areas for the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission, international humanitarian organizations, and media." Some experts fear that will not be enough: "There must also be an effort to seriously engage the Burmese military leadership," the Post's Josh Rogin writes. See photos from the Rohingya's "desperate search for a safe refuge" here at The Week.