Bangladesh Myanmar Attacks
Bangladesh Myanmar Attacks

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution by a vote of 394-1 Thursday, declaring Myanmar's military campaign against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority a genocide.

A United Nations report released in August said the military carried out mass killings and gang rapes with "genocidal intent" and also definitively called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges for the first time.

Myanmar's military has denied previous accusations it had committed genocide, maintaining its actions were part of an anti-terrorism campaign.

The atrocities have prompted the U.N. and a number of political and human rights leaders to question the southeast Asian country's progress toward democracy.

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The Burma Task Force, a coalition of U.S. and Canadian Muslim organizations, applauded the genocide designation.

"The House of Representatives has now officially adopted the position that the ongoing policies of mass violence and displacement against the Rohingya by the Myanmar government constitute genocide, bringing the U.S. closer to the emerging international consensus on the issue."

FILE - Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, speaks at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City, New York, U.S., May 16, 2018.
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Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey is under fire for failing to address the humanitarian crisis involving the Rohingya Muslims during his recent meditation retreat in Myanmar.Dorsey published a thread on his Twitter page Sunday praising Myanmar's people as "full of joy," and heaping equal praise on the nation's cuisine.Critics angrily accused Dorsey of ignoring the plight of more than 700,000 Rohingyas who fled from northern Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh to avoid a scorched earth…

The U.S. State Department usually makes such official designations but has not used the term genocide to describe the military's atrocities against the Rohingya.

The House resolution also called on the Myanmar government to release Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were jailed one year ago.

Activists gather at a rally, calling for the relea
Activists gather at a rally, calling for the release of imprisoned Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, one year after they were arrested, in Yangon, Myanmar, Dec.12, 2018.

They were sentenced in September to seven years in prison for violating the country’s colonial-era Secrets Act. Lawyers for the reporters said their clients were set up and have appealed their sentences and convictions.

The Myanmar embassy in Washington did not immediately comment on the House vote.