House backs measure to clamp down on Myanmar over Rohingya rights

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. Home of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of laws to strain Myanmar, also referred to as Burma, to enhance its document on human rights.

Refugees are seen on the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, close to Rakhine state, Myanmar, throughout a visit by United Nations envoys to the area April 29, 2018. REUTERS/Michelle Nichols

Lawmakers voted 382-30 to approve the measure as an modification to the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, or NDAA, an enormous protection coverage invoice that is likely one of the few items of laws handed by the U.S. Congress yearly.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar since August to flee a army crackdown, launched in response to Rohingya rebel assaults. Refugees have reported homicide, rape and arson by Myanmar troops.

Washington has known as the military response “ethnic cleaning,” which Myanmar has denied, saying its safety forces had been conducting a reliable counter-insurgency operation towards “Bengali terrorists.”

If included in a remaining model of the NDAA, sometimes handed by the Home and Senate later within the 12 months, the measure would, amongst different issues, bar U.S. safety help or cooperation with Myanmar’s army or safety forces till they’ve made progress on human rights.

It additionally would impose sanctions on present or former senior Myanmar army officers who perpetrated or had been liable for severe human rights abuses.

The modification was launched by Consultant Eliot Engel, the highest Democrat on the Home Overseas Affairs Committee.

Earlier this month the United Nations Safety Council urged Myanmar’s authorities to hold out clear investigations into accusations of violence towards the Rohingya Muslims and permit instant assist entry to the area.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle

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