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Rohingya Muslims

US to give US$185 million in aid for Rohingya in Bangladesh, Myanmar

US$156 million would go to refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, taking its total for the crisis to nearly US$389 million in the past year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2018, 5:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2018, 10:30pm

The United States almost doubled its aid for displaced Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh and Myanmar, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Monday as she pushed for UN investigators to brief the UN Security Council on the crisis.

She said the United States would give an extra US$185 million in humanitarian aid, of which US$156 million would go to refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, taking its total for the crisis to nearly US$389 million in the past year.

A Myanmar military crackdown in the western state of Rakhine last year after attacks by Rohingya militants on police and army posts drove more than 700,000 of the largely stateless minority across the border with Bangladesh.

UN-mandated investigators have said the military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya with “genocidal intent.”

Myanmar rejected the findings as “one-sided” and said it was a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.

“The military are at fault, the fact finding mission came out and gave clear examples of what’s happened,” Haley told reporters on Monday as she left a ministerial meeting in New York on the sidelines of the annual UN gathering of world leaders. “These weren’t terrorists. This was the military that did this to them. These people just want a place to live.”

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The Myanmar mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the meeting.

A US government investigation report has found that the military waged a planned, coordinated campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities against the Rohingya, but it stopped short of describing the crackdown as genocide or crimes against humanity.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian hosted the closed-door ministerial meeting on the crisis, which diplomats said focused on accountability.

“It’s time for the international community to move. I did also request the French and the British that I think we need to bring the fact finding mission and have that reported in the Security Council,” Haley said.

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Haley had said last week that US President Donald Trump would “lay down a marker” on US foreign aid during his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and that Washington would not be generous to countries “that try and stop the US or say they hate America.”

About 16 countries plus the EU and top UN officials attended the meeting in New York on Monday, diplomats said.